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Full text of "Explorations of the highlands of the Brazil; with a full account of the gold and diamond mines. Also, canoeing down 1500 miles of the great river São Francisco, from Sabará to the sea"

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The Bequest of 

Colonel George Earl Church 








F.R.G.S., ETC. 

Krazil is usually represented by a Tupy Woman. 

VOL 11. 



[All Rights of Translation and Rcyrodudwii reserved.'] 










F.R.G.S., ETC. 




[All Rights of TrcmskUion and McproductioH reserved.'] ». 


a(p 5 2. 





Departure. — Adieux. — The Raft, and what is in it. — The * ' Brig 
Eliza. " — The State of the River. 


Macahubas of the Nims. — Hospitable Receptions. 


» Rides about the Place. — The Vegetation. — Excui-sion to Lagoa Santa. 

Dr. Lund. — M. Fom-reau. — What the Word "Cachoeii-a" means. 


The Countiy House. — The Country Gentleman. — Visit to Jequitiba. 
— Ugly Rapids. 


The Coroa, or Sand-bar. — Preparations to Visit Diamantina. — The 
Pleasures of Solitude. 


Parauna River and Village of the Caboclos. — The Windy Rivulet. — 
The SeiTra da Contagem. — Comjilete change of Country and Vege- 
tation. — Camillinho Vegetation. — Gouvea. — Dona Chiquinha. — 
Solar Eclipse. — Bandeirinha. — 'Arrival. 


City described. — Society. — Populaiity of the English in the Brazil. 
— The Diamond in the Brazil, its discovery, &c. — Value of exported 



The Ride. — Quaint Stones. — Sao Gongalo of the Good Girls. — The 
Servigo Mine described. — Expenses. — Want of Machinery. — 
Plunder.— Dr. Dajn-ell. — The " Lomba " Mine.— The Maravilha 
Mountain. — Return to Diamantina. 




The Brant Family.— " Duro."— Ride out. — "Le Sport. " —Different 
Kinds of Deer. — Reach the Arraial of Sao Joao do Descoberto. ^- 
Rapid Feeding. — The Duro Mine. — The Barro Mine. — Engage 
" Menino," the new Paddle. 


Diamantine Lands in the Brazil, where found. — Prospecting for 
Diamonds. — Concession to work, — Perfection of the Diamond. — 
Debated origin of the Stone. —Refraction, Tests, &c. — Where 
formed. — Diamond grounds.- — Diamond "Formagoa," 6r Stones 
that accompany the Gem. — Note from M. Damour. — Shape of 
Diamond. — Its colour. — Its laws. — Its weights and price. — About 
" Boart." — Celebrated Brazilian stones. 


The Saco or Porto das Burriuhos. — Independence Day. — The ' ' Cacho- 
eira do Picao. " — The Lajja dos Urubus. — The Burity Palm. — 
Silent Birds. 


''Cachoeira da Escaramuga " {No. 10, and final). — The delightful 
temj)erature. — Vennin. — Eclipse of the Moon. — The Howling Mon- 
keys howl, and other signs of an approaching rainy season. — The 
Jacare, or Brazilian crocodile. — Gulls, and noisy birds. — Serpents. 
— Last night on the Rio das Velhas. 


Landing. — The " Jiggers."- — The great " Meeting of the Waters. — 
Guaicuhy described, the Manga and the Villa. — The Serrinha and 
its Vi€w. — The good "Delegate of Police, Sr. Leandro Hermeto 
da Silva. 


What '*Pirapora " means. — The name " Sao Francisco " explained. 
— A new crew. — The Pirapora examined. — Diamonds. — The Storm 
and the " Bull's eye. " — The barca, or yawl. — The " horse -boat " 
wanted. — The Barqueiro, or Waterman of the Rio de Sao Francisco. 
— His poetry, his improvisation, and his suj)erstitions. 


The system of the stream. — Its source. — Direction. — Length. — Mag- 
nitude. — Geology. — Glazed rocks. — Iron Deposits. — Wealth of 
Valley. — The River considered in connection with colonization, and 
as a line of communication. — The rivers of the Brazil generally. — 
Deplorable neglect of water communication. — Rivers versus 
Railways. — The Rio das Velhas jireferable to the Upper Sao Fran- 
cisco. — Estimates for clearing the Rio das Velhas, by M. Liais. — 
Estimates for clearing the Rio da Sao Francisco by M. Half eld. — 
Estimates of M. de la Martiniere. — The author's own estimates. — 
Steam navigation on the Rio das Velhas begun by M. H. Dumont. — 
Steam navigation on the Rio de Sao Francisco by the councillor 
Manoel Pinto de Souza Dantas. — Creation of new province on the 
Sao Francisco River. — Genei'al view of the great line of communi- 
cation. — Its benefits to the Empire. 


Aspects of the River. — Estrema Village. — Game. — The Otter. — 
The Cashew showers. — Reach Sao Romao. — Its history. — Giant 
fig-trees. — Actual state of the Town. — A Good Time coming. 





Steam-boat Islands. — The Uracuia River. — The village As Pedras dos 
Angicos. — Quixaba-trees.— The Ria Pardo. — Approach to the City 
of Januaria. — Vegetation at Village of N» S^ da Conceigao das 
Pedras de Marin das Cruz. — Reach the Porto do Brejo do Salgardo. 
— The present city of Januaria. — Its history and present state. — 
Danger of being swept away. — Reception. — Petty Larceny. — 
Civility of Sr. Manoel Caetano de Soiiza Silva. — Tlie Peqnizeiro. — 
Missionaries and Missioners. — "VTalk to the Brejo do Salgado. — 
Its actual state. — Romantic legend of the people's descent. 


The vile weather. — Remains of the Red-skins. — The Hamlet and 
large church of N= S^ Da Concei9ao dos MoiTinhos. — Decay and 
Desolation. — The Manga do Amaclor settlement. — The song of the 
birds. — The Rio Verde, a Salt Stream. — Tlie Carnnhanha River. — 
The Malhada settlement and its receivership. — Lieut. Loureiro. — 
Visit the Villa of Carunhanha. — Don Rodrigues. — Vile Night. 


A Gooseless Michaelmas. — The Liigar da Cachoeira. — The Parateca 
Stream, and the disputed "Rio Ramalho. " — Diamantine Deposits. 
— The Alligator now killed out.— The Conde da Ponte. — The 
Assassin Gruimaraes. — The Mountain of the Holy Cave described. 
— The Village. — The Holy Cave. — The stout-hearted Vicar, Rev. 
Francisco de Freitas Soueiro. — The " Uniformitai-ian " envies the 
" Catastrophist. " 



The Rio do Corrente.— The Settlement " Sitio do Mato."— The 
" Bull's Eye " and Stonn. — Visit to the Villa de Urubti. — Urubii 
will not be a Capital. — We resume work. — Complete Change of 
Climate and Aspect of Country. — The Settlement "Estrema." — 
Reach Bom Jardim. — Its Rivulet and fine Diamantation. — True 
Itacolumite. —Bom Jardim a good Site for a City. 



The Carnahuba, or Wax-^Dalm. — Vintens offered to Santo Antonio. — 
First sight of the Arassua Range. — The gull-fair. — Big Cranes. — 
The Toca, or Cave of Saint Anthony. — The thorns. —The villages 
of the Para. — The leathei'-coat bird and the chameleon. — Ap- 
proach to the Villa de Barra do Rio Grande, a proposed capital. — 
The Rio Grande an important influent. — The Villa described, 



The sand-dunes. — Complicated approach to Chique-Chique. — The 
settlement described. — The Xique-Xique cactus. — Good mutton. 
— Hire animals to visit the Diamond Diggings. — The old fi'eedman. 
The Trees and Birds. — Breeding fazendas. — The gi-ove of Carna- 
huba palms. — Lakes. — Ascent of hills. — The servigo or diamond- 
digging " do Pintorshino. " — The Village of Santo Ignacio. — Origin 
of the Diggings, and other peculiarities. — Return-ride to Chique- 
Chique. — Resume navigation. — The portals.— The storms. — Reach 
Pilao Arcado. 





Pilao Arcado described. — Ruined by private wars. — Great iron for- 
mations. — Storms again. — Bad apiaroach to the Villa do Eemanso. 
— The Town described. — Resume work. — The great easterly bend 
of the Rio de Sao Francisco — The Tucum jxalm. — Limestone. — An 
iron hill, the Serrote do Tombador. — Shells. — The Minhocao 
monster worm. — The willows. — Reach the to"v\Ti of Sento Se. 



Sento S6 described. — Indolence of peoi)le. — The Porto. — The women. 
— Long delays by winds.' — Pretty Country. — Village near the Ilha 
de Santa Anna. — We attack the Cachoeira do Sobradinho, the 
first break after 720 miles. — Our Life on the River. — Precautions 
for health. — Reach the Villa do Joazeiro. 


The Villa has a great name undeservedly. — The Villa described. — 
The lands about it. — Present prices of articles. ^ — The vine. — 
Colonel Santo Se and the steamer " Presidente Dantas. "—Visited 
the Ilha do Fogo. — The railways from Pernambuco and Bahia to 
Joazeiro. — Railways a failure in the Brazil. — Neglect of water 
commvmication. — The Bahian Steam Navigation Comjjany and a 
lateral tramway past the Rapids the true system for ex^jloiting the 
Sao Francisco. 


VISTA 380 

General remarks on this travessia, the garden of the Sao Francisco. 
— The "two brothers. "—The Cachoeira Jenipapo. — The Villa da 
Boa Morte, anciently Capim Grosso. — Its origin. — Its scanty civi- 
lity. —Resume work. — Pretty approach to the Villa da Boa Vista. 
— The Canal proposed. — Also another canal. — Arrive at the Villa. 
— The commandant superior. — Recruiting of the Conservatives. — 
Origin of the Villa. — Its present state described. — Engaged a new 
crew, the pilot Manoel Cj^mano and the paddle "Captain Soft," 
Made new paddles for the Rapids. 

The Rapids and the Smooths. 


Varzea Redonda described. — Dismissal of crew and consequent 
relief. — The muleteers of Pernambuco. — Great Rapid of the 










"j\Iessieurs les delicats . . . voulez-vous vous embarquer pour vivre de telle 
fajon ? Comme ie ne vous conseille pas." — Jean de Lerij. 

Wednesday, ^zt^ 265^ 7, 1867. — WewaU^ecl clown to the Porto da 
Ponte Grande,* where the ajojo or raft la}^ I never saw such 
an okl Noah's Ai'k, with its standing aT\Tiing, a floating gipsy 
*'X)al," some seven feet high and twenty-two long, and pitched 
like a tent upon two hollowed logs. The river must indeed be 
safe, if this article can get down without accident. 

All the notables of the place witnessed the process of embarka- 
tion. Miss Dundas broke the bottle with all possible gi^ace uj^on 
the bows, and christened my craft the " Brig Eliza," and two 
pair of slippers were duly thrown at my head. Many " vivas " 
were given and returned, and all embarked for a trial-trip — shall 
I call it, -^T-tli the Royal Geographical Society, a " tentative expe- 
dition " — of a couple of miles. When the fifteen souls came on 
board, they sunk the article some three palms, and deluged the 
port platform, makmg the heachnan, or pilot, "Manoel de Assump- 
Qao Vieira," very nervous — abeady he began to predict swamping, 
''going down in a jiffey," and being dashed to pieces by the rapids. 
We shot past the Pedra Grande, a quartzose rock in mid stream; 

* The upper landing-place at the Ponte Pequena Quarter is called '' Porto do Gall ego," 
from a stream and an old gold washing hard by it. 



the Camara has threatened for years to remove this obstacle ; 
imfortunately no one here can fire a charge under water. 

At the little " chnrch village" of Santo Antonio da Roga 
Grande, the animals were waiting to carry home the non-voyagers, 
my wife — who was incapacitated for accompanjing me by a bad 
fall and a serious sprain — included. My hospitable and warm- 
hearted escort stood — as the setting sun sank behind the moun- 
tains — and watched the raft turn the last corner, and float off into 
the far mj^sterious unknown. What made me think of the Nile 
story told by Mr. Curzon, of the white man paddled by dark 
Amazons adorned with barbaric gold, down the streams imfre- 
quented by the traveller ? I confess to having felt an unusual 
sense of loneliness as the kindly faces faded in the distance, 
and, by way of " distraction," I applied my bram to the careful 
examination of my conversance. 

The ajojo, or, as it is called in other places, the " balsa," here 
represents the flat boat of the Mississippi, and of the Arkansas 
" chicken thieves," in the days when, according to Mr. Nolte, 
men spent a month between the mouth of the Ohio and New 
Orleans, and then walked back. On the Rio das Velhas, how- 
ever, it cannot yet be said to have become an institution, and I 
am the only traveller who has yet passed down from Sahara to the 
Rapids of Paulo Afl'onso. As explorers, frontier-men, and other 
"pioneers of civilization " will have to use it upon the still unknown 
branches of many a stream, including the Amazons River, a 
detailed description of the craft may not be without use. 

The usual ajojo* is a bundle of two or three canoes, in the 
latter case the longest occupying the centre. The best materials 
are the strong and light Tamboril Vinhatico, and " Cedro," or 
Brazilian cedar, about one inch thick; mine were of " Peroba,t 
nearly two inches deep, and consequently too heavy. We drew 
two palms, approaching a foot and a half (seventeen inches) even 
without cargo. There is sometimes a helm, always fixed to the 
longer or the longest boat ; if not, the pilot poles or paddles, 
standing or sitting in the stern. The canoes should be lashed 
together by hide ropes, with an interval of six to eight inches, 
not connected as mine were by iron bars joining them at both 

* Or ajotijo. In Portuguese, as in not retained, 

most of the Latin languages, the circumflex f A fine hard wood, formerly reserved 

often denotes crasis, or contraction by the hy government for ship-building, 
omission of a letter whose sound is or is 


stem and stern, and thus destroying all elasticity. Bound or 
squared poles fastened by leather thongs to the gunwales, support 
the ''soalho," or platform, which should fit tight to the sides, 
otherwise the craft, when ''broaching to," may be water-logged. 
This boarding of ten planks, laid horizontally, projects laterally 
into coxias, trampways eight to ten mclies wide, where the men 
work.* My canoes, thirtj^-three feet four inches long, and when 
joined, six feet broad, formed a solid foundation for the standmg 
awning, a somewhat risky comfort. It was made fast by five 
wooden stanchions, of which the two pair fore and the one aft, 
were supported, besides being nailed, by strong iron knees, or 
stays. The tent was of rough Minas cotton, protected in the 
forepart, where I slej)t, by wax-cloth from Morro Yelho ; and it 
was a Idnd of " pal," to throw off the ram. Facing the head, 
and in the coolest place, was a tall deal writing-desk, which 
rivalled the awning in catching the wind. Behind tliis, on each 
side, stood a Gii'ao,"|* or boarded bunk, for sofa and bed, raised 
on four uprights. Amidships was the table, a locked box of 
provisions flanked by two stools (tamburetes). In the stern stood 
the galley, a similar bench, but lined with bricks, and around it the 
batterie de cuisine, ii'on kettles and pots, cups and goblets, of 
com-se not forgetting the invaluable frying pan.t Two large jars 
of porous earth (talhas or igacabas),§ carried the su^^ply of water, 

* When the Ajojo carries merchandise, the brown can be found everyT/here — mus- 

the platform is reduced to the gangway. tard and black pepper ; here they cannot 

Coxia also means a stall, a corridor in a be bought, while cayenne grows vrud. I 

hospital, a passage in a warehouse, &c. also had tea — it is no iise to carry coffee. 

'h The Grirao or Jirao, according to the The good Mr. Gordon had supplied me 

T. D. is properly a hut on piles, used as a with excellent salt beef in rounds, with 

granary. Sr. J. de Alencar uses it as the tongues and with bread, to relieve the 

"horse," or small gallows-shaped frame of monotony of the Brazilian rusk; also, in 

the Jangada-raft. In the south it is case of sickness, with a bottle of Cognac 

called "Noque." Generally in the Brazil, and another of gin, which might take the 

Girao is applied to various rude pieces of place of Pinga. Finally, a few tins of 

furniture, shelves of wood or hide, a frame beef, sardines, and potted meats, for a 

work for smoking or sun-drying meat, and "treat," were stored in the table-box. 

so forth. ]Mr. James Smyth, of !Morro Yelho, gave 

4! The provisions were jerked meat me a few valuable boxes of excellent Hava- 

(Came seca), in Pernambuco called Carne nahs, which were highly appreciated by 

de Ceara, in other places Came do Sertao my hosts. In Brazilian travel cigai-s are 

and Carne do Sol, when simply cut in soon exhausted, and it is the ciistom to pass 

strips, hung in the air and sun dried, fine round the case. 

coriaceous matter for pulling at with the § Ygacaba is a Tupy word, generally 
teeth. Lard (Toucinho) is never wanting used in these parts. The first letter had 
in these parts ; and rice and beans can amongst the savages a dubious sound be- 
generally be found. The men also received tween "i" (or "y") and "u." Hence 
a dram of rum (Cacha9a) every evening. the Portuguese wi-ote it in various ways, as 
For my own stores I had a box -ndth a " ira " or "ora," honey, and una for yg, 
lock : it contained white salt and sugar — una, a dark stream. 

B 2 


which was renewed every night, and allowed to stand for a day. 
The President of Sao Paulo advised me not to drink liquid from 
the stream, hut all on board did so, and so did I. INIr. Gordon 
had taken care to provide the raft with a stout boat-hook, with 
an anchor in the bows, a standing wonder to the riverines, who 
had never heard of Anacharsis the Scythian, and with strong 
English ropes for *' cordelling"* — these are of the greatest con- 
sequence when swinging round the rapids. 

The crew numbers three,! old Vieira and his sons, who are 
to receive, besides food, 5 $000 per day.| Two stand in the 
bows with poles, which they prefer, as being easier to use than 
paddles. The former, called varas, and when large, varegoes, are 
stout elastic cuttings of the supple Peroba or Parahybuna wood, 
fifteen to twenty feet long, by two inches in diameter. They are 
shod with iron (ferrao), and, when not, the ends must be sharpened 
before shooting a rapid. The points are of various lands, the 
" Ponta de diamante " is a long pyramid, with a ring band ; the 
" Pe de Cabra " is cloven-footed, and the " Gongo " has, in addition, 
a boat-hook to hold on by ; whilst the Forquilha, which rarely 
comes into use, is a hooked pole, that arrests the course by catch- 
ing trees. The paddles (remos), used in deeper waters, are 
artless articles, and vary in shape every few hundred miles ; here 
they are straight and flattened spatulse. The next set will have 
handles four feet long, ending in a blunt lozenge one foot broad ; 
its rowlock will be a lashing of hide rove through a hole in the 
gunwale. This article has no leverage. At the junction of the 
two streams I found fine elastic paddles of the veined and yellow 
taipoca wood, which not a little resembled our ash. They were 
six feet in length, and broadest at the lower end, which was 
rounded so as to present a clean sm-face when used as a pole 
against bank or tree, or ended with trimmed beams of a heavy 
Cactus, which sinks in water like lead, and which is capable of 
doing very hard work. 

The men were mere land-lubbers, quite unlike those of the S. 
Francisco. They feel, or afiect to feel, nervous at every obstacle. 
They have been rowing all theii' lives, and yet they know not how 

* Locally called 'VSirga." care that tliey were new and of small 

+ For the up trip six men are necessary, values, between 10 $000 and 1$000 : be- 

and the work of one day down stream takes sides these, a small bag of coppers and of 

three. silver pieces for especial occasions, was in 

t I carried Brazilian bank-notes, taking store. Total, 1:500 $000. 


to back water ; curious to say, this is everywhere the case down 
stream. They pull with all their might for a few minutes, when 
the river is rapid, so as to incui^ all possible risk ; and, when the 
water is almost dead, they lie upon then- oars and lazily allow 
themselves to be floated down. Thus, during the working day, 
between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., very little way is made. They have 
no system, nor will they learn any ; it is needless to suggest 
placing rollers under the canoes or stamping upon the platform 
when we ground; they never saw such things done, and they 
don't care to see them. All have the appetites of Abyssinians, 
and suck sugar-cane like their '' Indian " ancestry ; they might 
take for motto, — 

Au boire je prens grant plaisir, 
A viande frieiclie et nouvelle: 
Quand a table me voy servir 
Lion esprit se reiiouvelle. 

They are energetic only in performing upon the cow-horn, the 
bozina de chifre, derived from the ancient savages;* with this 
they announce arrival, salute those on the banks, and generally 
enjoy the noise. 

My sole attendant is a Morro Velho boy, named " Agostinho," 
lent to me by Mr. Gordon. He knows something of the river, of 
gold washing, of diamond digging, and of rough cookery. Despite 
occasional attacks of dipsomania, he proved very useful, and at 
Rio de Janeiro he was returned into store vdih all the honours. 
*' Negra," the mastiff, -v^ild eyed as an ounce, becomes very 
savage when tied up, and barks as if under a waggon tilt. She 
is the terror of those who see her for the first time, and she will 
prove useful — in these parts all men travel with fierce dogs. I 
have two passengers on board. One is a certam Antonio Casi- 

* The Tupys called it "Mamia," and the Upper Amazons the horn is made of two 
formed it of two pieces of wood joined toge- pieces of thin hollowed wood, joined toge- 
ther with thread and resins. Ferreira, gether by a lashing of twine and coated 
■WT.'iting in the last century, says of these with wax : they are blunderbuss-shaped, 
rude trumpets that, ' ' played in the fore- four feet long, with a red mouth-piece, and 
part of the canoes whilst travelling in the a deep mellow sound. The Indians use 
interior, they serve to summon the Indians them to fiighten away the monsters of 
before starting from the places where the the deep, and, like Africans, to show 
embarcations are moored. " According to by their noise that they come as friends. 
Prince Max. (ii. 179), the Botucudos (whom My men also enjoy the use of the " ban- 
he will call '' Botocoudys,") termed it duiTa," or small viola, a wire-guitar, and 
coimtchoun-cocann, and made it out of the the Marimbao, a Jew's, or rather Jaw's 
tail of the great armadillo (Dasypus gigas, harp : the name is distinctly Portuguese 
Cuv. ). The more civilized Coroados used Angolan, 
horns to call one another in the forest. On 


miro Pinto, popularly called '' Onga ;" by profession a fogueteiro, 
or rocket-maker ; he asked for brandy at once, and the pilot, 
pointing to liis fiery face, exclaimed, *' Cliupa muito," lie sucks 
(tlie monkey) much. We presently landed at a breeding estate, 
where his son, the capataz,* or overseer, looks after some 2000 
head. The other was a Southemer-mimigTant, Mr. Hock ; this 
old pilgrim-father had brought with him a party of twenty souls, 
all had been spiiited away by the indefatigable '' Sprat " of 
Sahara, and lilie Rachel, he declines to be just now com- 
forted. His present idea is to make a railway on condition of 
receiving alternate sections of sixty square miles, or thirty on 
both sides of the line. . In the United States, where the contrac- 
tors were satisfied with gi'ants ten times less, the world predicted 
theu' ruin ; but the new lots attracted settlers, and paid remark- 
ably well. I would willingly see this sj^stem adopted in the 
Empire, which now suffers from paying seven per cent, interest 
upon vast sums extravagantly laid out. Mr. Hock accompanied 
me as far as Jaguar a. 

Between Sahara and Jaguara the river line is officially twenty 
leagues, 1,118,490 metres, the breadth is between forty-four 
and seventy-seven metres, and the average! slope 0™*4135 per 
kilometre. This distance, about -|-th of the whole length, was 
partially cleared out for 6 : 000 $ 000, and this figure will be useful 
in estimating the total requii'ed. The stream is deeply encased ; 
the reaches are short, and we seem to run at the bluffs, where 
high ribs come down to the bed, and cut the bottom into very 
small bends. As usual in the smaller Brazilian rivers, there is 
hardly any breadth of valley ; in places it is a mere ledge, hardly 
to be called " dale " or ''level" at the hill-foot. The banks,! 
often perpendicular, are of gravel, sand, or dark puggy clay, and 
between October and January they are deeply flooded. The 
pilots speak of 16 to 20 i^alms rise, and of small baj^ous, more often 
flood-lagoons than filtration-lagoons, formed in the flats. The 

* Formerly called Amo or Vaqueiro ; lie metres. The distance between the two 

receives a certain projiortion of the stock places is 666,080 metres, or 361*28 miles, 

as pay, and has complete command over or 120 '43 geograj^hical leagues, and thus 

the " Campeiros " or "M090S," who are the general declivity is '3941 per kilome- 

mostly youngsters. tre. The slope of the Upper Sao Francisco, 

+ Of course the current greatly varies, between the Paraopeba River and the Rapids 

and in some jdaces the water is almost still. of Pirapora averages 0""'4890. 

According to M. Liais, the river at Sabara J Here called Barrancos or Barreiras do 

stands in the dry season 695 metres above rio, the classical Ribas or Ribeiras not 

sea-level, and at the confluence it is 432 "3 being used. 


bottom is of coarse pebbles and finer arenaceous matter, mthont 
mud, except where deposited by influents ; at this season there 
are many shoal-islets or sand-bars, and bed-islets in mid stream. 
We find a few rivers but no " Cachoeii'as," or rapids, properly 
so called. The most troublesome featiu'e is the shallow (raseii'a) ;* 
at places where the bed broadens we ground with unpleasant 
regularity, and om- crew has to tumble in. This part abounds in 
snags, locally called ^' tocos," meaimig tree trunks; the "saw^^er" 
is unknown, but there are galheu'os (pronomiced gayj-eros), trees 
with upright and projecting branches. Sometimes they appear 
like poles, placed to stake the channel. The tortuous bed, never 
showing a mile ahead, prevents anything like waves, though the 
wind is in our teeth, and it will long contmue so. "NMiere there 
is much depth, the water boils upt and spreads out, sometimes 
the effect of a floor uneven with pit holes, and of the mid stream 
flowing faster than the surface or the bottom, where it is retarded 
by friction. 

At this time we see the worst of the Old Squaws' River. The 
*' Solde Augusto" is proverbially bad, especial^ between two and 
four P.M. Heavy morning mists enforce idleness, and will last 
till the openmg of the wet season, in September to October. 
There is a minimum of water and a maximum of contrary wind, 
sometimes, but rarely, chopping round to the south, and blow- 
ing with strong flows when the regular current ceases ; this is 
not the case during the rains. I On the other hand it is the 
*' Moon of Flowers;" the poor second growth — virgin forest 
is miknown — teems with the Flor de Quaresma, with its bunches 
of purple beauty, and the hill tops are feathered bj^ the tall Lico- 
rim and the Guariroba palms. 

After about tliree hoiu's we passed the Pedi-a do Moinho, the 
onty really bad shoal, made worse by rocks on the left hand ; the 
first sight of human habitation was a little farm near the Lagoa da 
Fazenda do Barao (de Sahara), a flood-fed pool. Opposite it, on 
a narrow step of poor ground, was the baronial manor-house with 

* j\I. Liais proposes to narrow the stream when the wind forces the waves one way 

artificially, between Sahara and Ro^a Grrande and the tide checks them the other, thus 

especially. But we came do'WTi easily in making them lose their run, rise, dance, 

the worst month, dra^^-ing, when loaded, at and bubble into points, 
least 20 inches. t Dnring the rains there is least wind, 

+ " 'Sta fervendo," the men exclaim. and it does not always accompany even 

This must not be confounded with our thunder and lightning, 
popular term "boiling water," that is, 


a queer green portico, lil^e Mtoni, near Zanzibar City. Then 
came sundry breeding fazendas and Retiros,* which sell fat and 
good jerked meat for 3$000 to 3$ 500 per 321bs. The cattle, 
numerous but degenerate, stand in the water or bask upon the 
sunny sand, and the horses gathering upon the grassy hill sides, 
stare snorting at our awning. In rare places there are patches 
(canaviaes) t of stunted sugar-cane. 

Near the house of Jose Correa, where the river forks to east 
and west, inclosing a hilly island, we found the " Barque Jagu- 
ara." She was loaded with the enormous secular logs for Morro 
Velho. This large flat craft, 105 feet long by 24 feet broad, and 
24 inches in depth (pontal), built of the hard Vinhatico and 
Canella woods, with ribs of Pau d'Arco, and iron-plated bottom, 
is triangular fore and aft. The weight is 32,000 lbs., of which 
the greatest part is metal. Unloaded she draws four inches, and 
increases one inch per four tons ; she carries seventy-two tons 
down the channel, twenty-two inches deep, betw^een Macahubas 
and Jaguara, and she makes Sahara in twelve daj^s from the 
latter place, retm^ning in two or three. Evidently a steam-tug 
will be a success here, without expending much money upon the 
river bed. 

" You'll never reach Trahiras ! " cried the people on board the 
barque, deriding the " Eliza." And indeed we seemed likely to 
waste much time. However, if we crept on slowly, it was surely, 
and the Morro da Cruz of Sahara, which early in the day was a tall 
bluff to the west, presently gave us a parting look from the south- 
south-west. As evening approached the weather waxed cool and 
clear, and the excessive evaporation gave the idea of great dry- 
ness ; my books curled up, it was hardly possible to write, and it 
reminded me of the Persian Gulf, where water-colom^s cannot be 
used because the moisture is absorbed from the brush. The 
first view of Santa Lusia was very pleasing ; a tall ridge about a 
mile from the stream, was capped with two double -towered 
churches, divided by fine large whitewashed houses and rich 
vegetation, with palms straggling down to the water. 

* The E-etiro (dim. Retirozinlio) here Latin -etum, and the Tupy " -tyba " or 

means a small breeding estate, where the "-tuba," e.g. Indaia-tyba, a place where 

absentee landlord establishes a capataz. the Indaid palm abounds ; Uba-tuba, a site 

f The desinences " -al " and "-edo," whero the Uba reed is plentiful. It must 

(jjlural "-aes" and "-edos,"as Clival or not be confounded with -xiba, or -uva, a 

Olivedo, coiTespond in Portuguese with the tree. 

CHAP. I.] ' sabaeA to SAXTA LUSIA. 9 

I landed at the '' Porto de Praia de Vicente Eico," above the 
bridge, and ascended a hill lined by hovels, with torn calico for 
wmdow glass ; the path showed remnants of a slippery grass-grown 
Calcada. The " Hotel," kept in the Paia Du^eita by a "Doctor " 
Joaqiiim de Silva Torres, had broken its back, and attendance 
might be defined as the power of clapping hands and ejaculatmg 
" Pst " ad libitum. On the other hand, the bill was a mere 

A walk up town led to two churches, the Ptosario and the 
Matriz, the latter with its steps in ruins. I left my two letters 
of introduction, and heard no more of them for some time — the 
recipients, of course, could not call before the next noon. The 
Baroneza de Santa Lusia, who has a large house in the main 
street, with a front all windows, was an mvalid : the venerable 
lady is the widow of Sr. Manoel Pdbeu'o Yianna, who founded the 
" S. Joao de Deus de Santa Lusia," a hospital for sick paupers. 
He died before the work was finished, and his relict masiiifi- 
cently dowered it with a house, fm'niture, and £'3000. 

The gold diggings which built Santa Lusia were of two kinds, 
Cascalho and " Om'o de Barba," Gold of the Beard. The river 
floods deposited particles upon the bank, the sods were cut* and 
the grass was shaved off to be panned, hence the pictm-esque 
popular term. Hard ''Marumbe" iron stone still abounds. 
The Mimicipality, which in 1864 contained 22,980 inhabitants, 
1915 voters, and 48 electors, might be rich with an improved 
system of agriculture. The land supplies sugar in quantities, 
a little coffee and "mantimento," rice and manioc, beans and 
millet, the Eicinus plant, whose oil is chiefly used for lamps, 
sweet potatoes (Convolvulus edulis),f and the Cara-tuber, together 

* After catching the deposit of two in a light soil by preference, large deep 

yeai-s the sods are sliced off one finger thick, holes, to whose proportions the root is 

and 2 to 3 inches deep are taken up after five supposed to fit itself ; these are filled 

years* rest. Lower do-mi stream I saw the with dried grass to support the cuttings, 

cakes heaped on the bank. which are covered up ^dth a little earth. 

t ]VI. Renaidt, who has made an especial The root is cooked like the potato, and 

study of the Cara and the Convolvulus is eaten with or without sugar or sweet - 

edalis, has obliged me with the following meats ; its flour enters into cakes and 

information : — puddings : — 

The Caras belong to the family of the 1. The ordinaiy Card (D. sativa) pro- 

Dioscoreacere, created from that of the duces a spheroidal tuber, at times attaining 

Asparaginte, and the genus Dioscorea bul- the weight of 30 lbs. 

bifera. There are six known species, of which 2. The Cara de dedos, or palmatcd (D. 

all, except No. 6, have a fecula superior to Dodecaneura), resembles in shape a man's 

that of the potato. The cultivator opeu.g, hand. 



[chap. 1. 

with small timber; while the river is exceedingly rich in fish, 
which finds its way to Morro Vellio. To judge from the streets, 
prostitution is the most thriving trade ; but all assured me that 
it was outdone by Cruvello, a city further north, and ten leagues 
to the west of the main artery. Both of these are '* church- 
towns," visited by the planters on Sundays and holidays. 

The little Arraial became on July 8, 1842, the site of the acting 
Presidency ; and here on August 20 of the same year, ended the 
revolutionary movement. The intrusive President kindly dis- 
appeared at night, and the then good genius of the Conservative 
party. General Barao (now Marquez) de Caxias attacked the 
insurgents. The fight raged around the bridge, beginning with 
early morning : the field was still doubtful at 3 p.m., when the 
8th Battalion of Regulars occupied the highest point of the 
village, and put the enemy to hopeless flight. The chiefs, Srs. 
Ottoni, Jose Pedro, Padre Brito, Joaquim Gualberto and others, 
were made prisoners of state, and since that day, to them dis- 
astrous, the Ultra-Liberals have ever been called ''Lusias."* 
St. Lucy or Luiz, I may remind jou, is the patroness of 
the bhnd, and generally holds in her hand an eye apparently 

3. Cara Cobra (D. hyperfolia), supposed 
to resemble a serpent. 

4. Cara Mimoso (D. triloba); its small 
roots produce a fine fecula. 

5. Cara Tinga (D. alba) grows wild in the 
Capoeirasof Minas, and is the least esteemed. 
The spheroidal root is a little bigger than 
an ostrich's egg, the skin is white, and 
covered with small asperities, and boiling 
water softens it but little ; it is cooked 
under ashes, and is eaten when a quill can 
be thrust into it. 

6. Cara do Ar (D. Peperifolia). This 
species also produces climbers, sometimes 
12 to 13 feet long, and as many as 40 fruits, 
weighing 1 lb. , in shape a rhomboidal tetra- 
hedi'on. The climbers die after fruiting, 
and I'eappear next year. This tuber is re- 
produced from the frviit, and yields within 
the first twelve months ; whereas the other 
five kinds are propagated by cuttings of the 
stalk, to which are attached some of the 
fibrous roots of the climber. This Cara do 
Ar has no maladies nor enemies, and it 
would be a boon to Europe. It requires 
little care, once planted it lasts for many 
seasons, it can be crowded without injury, 
and it wants only a somewhat tall support. 
A single stem yields ten times more than 

the potato, and it would save much surface 
by demanding very little ground. 

There is also a "Cara do Mato," the 
tuberculous roots of a wild Cara much 
eaten by the Indians. 

The Caras, like the true yams and the 
sweet potato, have often been confounded 
with the Topinambours (vol. i. chap. 8^*, 
because all are tuberous roots, and were 
imported from America. 

The sweet potato belongs to the family 
Convolvulacese, and to the genus Convolvulus 
edulis. Of this j^lant there are four well- 
known species : — 

1. Convolvulus edulis. 

2. C. tuberosus. 

3. C. esculentus. 

4. C. varius (Martins). 

* " Lusia " was opposed to ' * Saquarema, ' ' 
which some travellers call "Sagoarema. " 
It is a village and a water on the seaboard 
near Rio de Janeiro, and being the head- 
quarters of the "old Tory" party, esj^e- 
cially the families of Torres (Itaborahy) and 
Soares de Souza (Uruguay), it became a 
noted name. The term " Cascudo," some- 
what similar, is taken from the Rio Cas- 
cudo, between Minas and S. Paulo. 




Que se a abundancia a industria se combina 
Cessando a inercia, que mil lucres tolhe, 
Houvera no algodao, que alii se topa 
Roupa com que vestir-se toda a Europa. 

{Caramuru, 7, 48.) 

August 8 : — The morning was delicious, and the face of natui*e 
was calm as if it could show no other expression. The sword- 
like rays of the sun, radiating from the unseen centre before it 
arose in its sj)lendour, soon dispersed the thin mists that slept 
tranquil upon the cool river-bed. We shot the Ponte Grande 
de Santa Lusia, leading through Lagoa Santa, distant three 
leagues, to Cruvello and the "backwoods." It was the usual 
long crooked affair, with twelve trusses or trestles in the water 
and many outside, showing that the floods are here extensive : 
an older erection has disappeared. The gu'ders are rarely raised 
high enough, and an exceptional inmidation sweeps them away, 
leaving bare poles bristling in the bed, and dangerous piles under 
water. These must be removed before the stream can be safely 

About two miles below Santa Lusia the water becomes deeper, 
and the country changes. The right or eastern side is rough 
and hilly, with heights hugging the bed. Near the other bank 
the land is more level, and the soil shows a better complexion, 
b}^ which both sugar-cane and timber profit. On the uplands, 
extending to ten miles, the superficial formation is of four kinds. 
The best is the rich ferruginous chocolate-brown alluvium, 
based upon a mountain limestone, blue streaked with pm-e snowy 
lines ; the second is the red soil underlaid by the same 
calcareous matter. The soft black alluvial loam, considered 


A 1 in the Mississippi Valley, is here the third; and the worst 
is the white sun-scorched ground without ii'on. On hoth sides 
are saltpetre caves, and the produce is prepared at the mouths 
by a simple process which we shall presently see. I heard vague 
reports of salt- diggings, which probably refer to the Salinas about 
the Paracatu River described by old travellers. 

After the first hour we reached the Fazenda da Carreira 
Compridar * of the Fonseca family : it supplies provisions and 
Restilo or rum. The lands extend far up the hills, and the 
"Engenho " or sugar house is on a ledge near the stream, which 
loops to the south-east. It was working when we sped by, and 
the music reminded me pleasantly of certain water-wheels in 
Sindh, Egj-pt, Arabia — in these lands of the Future any sug- 
gestion of the Past is a god- send. Establishments with water- 
I)ower motors pay 40 $000 per annum, those driven by bullocks 
half that sum, and upon the produce of both there is, when 
entering towns, an octroi of 0$320 per barrel of thirty bottles. 
It will be better for the people when circumstances admit of a 
much heavier taxation. 

This part of the river shows many contrivances for exploiting 
a far more valuable industr}^, the vast shoals of fish which haunt 
the waters. The usual weir (Gamboa or Curral, not Camboa 
and Coral) is accompanied by the Jequi or Jiqui, a conical 
crate of wild cane, bound with cipos two feet long, and attached 
to stakes (estacadas). The Grozeira is a system of thin poles, 
planted five to six feet apart, and connected by Uianas, to which 
hooks and lines are fastened. The Chiqueii'o or hog-stye is a 
tall roofless closet of cane, some two feet in diameter, and affixed 
to the bank : it has a perpendicular trap- door, which falls when 
the fish pulls at a corn-cob. Another self-acting machine, a 
favourite because a trouble-saver, is the " Linha douradeira," 
a hollow bamboo with cotton line, hook, and earth-worm 
(minhoca). The Girao is a perch on four piles, often planted 
at the head of a sand bank, and the man who exerts himself upon 
it with his cana or rod must be hungry indeed. He will, how- 
ever, find a single take sufficient for the day and its appetite, 
and the rest of the twenty-three hours and fifty-five minutes may 

* "Of the long quarry;" it is said that attention ; a complete list is given by M. 
white lime is here found. I shall mention Liais. 
only the principal Fazendas which struck my 


be expended in doing nothing. I can liardly persuade niy crew 
to throw a hand-line overboard when we anchor ; the pretence is 
that the}^ have brought no hoe for digging out earthworms. But 
they can catch half-a-dozen sprat-lilve "piabas " or ''piaus "* by 
heaving up a calabash full of water, and by throwing it upon the 
bank; or they can shoot a bird or rob a nest, which will do 
equally well for bait. A fish-gullet best fits the hook, and will 
not come off, but they do not approve of this " new-fan oied 
fashion." Salt is here wanting, but sunshine is not, and two 
days will extract all moisture from the fish-meat when cut thin 
and hung m the an*. For long journe^^s these can be fried and 
potted with \TLQegar and spices. The flavom' is preserved by 
frying the game when quite fresh from the water; it can be 
"warmed up" when wanted; fish-soup is invaluable, but it re- 
quires too many ingredients for a traveller to succeed in making 
it enjoyable. As a rule the people reject the scaly fish, because 
they say the spines are dangerous. 

Those who visit these streams should be provided with fishino- 
tackle, with the largest fresh-water hooks, and with the stoutest 
running gear, or the '' cats," sometimes weigliing upwards of a 
hundred pomids, will sm^prise them. On the other hand guns 
are useless. The crew generally carry theii' shooting irons, the 
locks guarded as in Africa by a sheath of monkey's skin ; but 
little game appears upon the banks ; it was confined to a water- 
hog, a smgie small deer, doves, and at rare intervals, a few 
Penelopes. Wild fowl, especially ducks (Marecas, called by the 
aborigmes Jerere or lerere), were sometimes seen, and cranes 
were heard screammg from the bayous within the River Valley ; 
to get at these places, however, reqrdres much marsh-walking 
and nothing else to do. In the Brazil those streams which, like 
the Tiete and the Paranapanema of the Sao Paulo Province 
ignore the white man, even the squatter, and can be reached only 
after a week of much travellmg from the coast, afford magnificent 
sport ; not so those where the gun is well known. Sportsmen 

* The Piaii is a small fish, which has jump into the tender canoe ; the light slate- 
given its name to the vast Province of coloiu-ed back and white belly reminded 
Piauhy. Gardner mentions the Piau my companion of the " silverside. " "We 
branco, one of the Salmonidte, one to two heard of the Piau certia, a large species 
feet long, wdth large scales. It is taken some white, others dark, and of the Piau 
with the hook, and is held to be good eating. de Capim, a sea-fish which feeds on 
On the Rio das Velhas the bait is a bola of grass, 
manioc flour. By night the Piau used to 


visiting the Brazil will do well to bear tliis in mind; tapii's, 
ounces, and anacondas are still found near the sea-board, but they 
are exceedingly wild and troublesome to seek out, whilst the 
climate is bad and the walking is detestable. 

Another hour carried us to the Port and Fazendaof the Capitao 
Frederico Dolabella, w^iere we sighted the first cotton-plantation, 
and right well it looked. It is mostly herbaceous, the seed having 
lately been introduced; but still lingers the Brazilian ''kidney- 
cotton." This, after some years, becomes a tree fifteen feet high, 
and thick as a man's leg, with large luxuriant foliage, red yellow 
blossoms, and bearing a strong medium-staple lint, that covers 
moderate-sized and naked black seeds. This is the " Gossypium 
arboreum," of which travellers in this Empire speak — the more 
exact limit the term to the ''purple-blossomed, green-seeded, 
short- staiDled, small cotton tree of India."* There is a mine of 
neolected wealth in cotton and fish, and the more we see of it 
the richer we shall find it. The hills were clothed with thin 
brown-gTey grass, looking, in places, as if they were frosty with 
hoar, and they were profusely tasseUed with noble Macahubas or 
Coqueii'o palms. 

The snags and "branchers" were bad as those of yesterday, 
and we lost an hour by grounding at the Volta dos Pinhoes, a 
" broad " and a bend in the river. Then we ran at the " Penedo," 
a tall fronting mass of bare stone, protruding from the trees 
w^hich straggled over it from base to summit ; a little below it 
was another hill, all forest, and between the two a pile of wood 
aAvaited the " barque." On the right was the Rio Vermellio, a 
little stream coming from the Arraial da Lapa, east of Sahara, 
and allowing unloaded canoes to ascend it for a league, f Pre- 
sently another bend showed certain white lines between the 
river fringe of trees, and a hill fronting west; this was the "Ma- 
cahubas das Freiras " — of the Friaresses. 

Before making fast to a " porto " or gap in the clay bank, here 
called a Port, I gave a passage across to a traveller from Lagoa 
Santa. He wore a cow-skin hat, shaped lilve the Petasos of 

* So says Major R. Trevo'r Clarke. Here calls it "Rio de Macahubas," and makes 

the cotton has more lint than usual ; 1200 it a stream of some consequence, with a 

lbs will give 500 lbs. of cleaned fibre, contingent of 20 metres per second, which 

whereas in Alabama 1500 would be re- makes the Rio das Velhas of " great im- 

quired. The people usually replant the portance," and gives it a debit of 62 

shrub in its fourth year. _ _ metres. 

t Thus all my informants. M. Liais 


Mercury, a wliite shirt streaked mtli indigo — an old st^de still 
lingering — a paletot of Minas cotton, and deer-skin riding-boots 
built to reach the thighs, but falling below the calf as if he stood 
in his carpet bags. An impm^e path, winding past cascalho- 
heaps, by a dii'ty i)ond, and through offals of pig-sties, leads to 
the high site of the Recolhimento or Recluse House. On both 
sides of, and attached to, the church, are long double-storied 
wings of whitewashed j)ise, based upon the usual fine blue lime- 
stone, and all the windows are jealously latticed and barred. 
To the left is the Vicar's house, and at a lower level rise clay 
and thatch huts, inhabited by slaves and jDorkers, fowls and 
turkej^s. All appears exceedingly foul, but the people declare 
that with godliness, but without cleanUness, they live to a great 

As there was no Yenda we went to the Tropeu'o's Ranch, and 
were surlilj^ received b}" the housekeeper. This chattel of the 
" Recolhimento " was making pots, of course without wheel, 
out of a grey, iron-coloured clay ; she refused to give coffee 
before we declared our names. Such is the effect of a single 
party of highly Protestant emigTants visiting so highly Catholic 
a place. I at once sent my card and letter to the Rev. Padre 
Lana, whose first cousin had been so kind to me at Itacolumi 
of Ouro Preto. This amiable Mineiro, educated at the Caraca, 
at once called upon us, ordered dinner, and carried us off to see 
the Hons. 

The "Madre Regente," or Reverend Mother, rather a pretty 
person, received us at the door, kissed the Padre's hand, and 
led the way to the little college-chapel, white and gold with 
frescoed ceiling. We visited the dormitories, which had nothing 
new, and from the windows we could see the inner square, which 
may not be visited without an order from the Bishop and his 
coadjutors. The galleries are long ; the rooms, large and aiiy, 
reminded me, in their rougimess of mihewed beams, of a Goanese 
establishment which I desciibed nearly a score of years ago. 
The lecture " sala " showed a black board for '' c^^ihering," 
some old maps, and creditable specimens of caligraphy, em- 
broidery, and artificial flowers. The Infirmary contained one 
sister and four invalid girls. The thii'ty-six reverend women 
are dressed in white veils, and petticoats with black scapulars in 
front, and over all a blue capa or cloak. The twenty-five edu- 


candas or pupils f(3llowed giggling in the steps of Galatea, con- 
corning whom it is written, 

Et f ugit ad salices, sed se cupit ante videri. 

The grounds consist of six acres walled in, and producing an 
abundance of well-watered "green meat;" here, however, the 
brown scummy river, ugly to look at but tasteless, is generally 
used ; indeed, below Jaguara the people prefer it td^ that of the 
Corregos. The vegetables, especially the salad, are excellent ; 
the vine, which at Sahara as at Barbacena bears fruit twice a 
year, is a failure. For the fii'st tune in the Brazil I saw the 
Coqueu'o palm (Cocos butjTacea) not wholly neglected ; the 
fruit-pulp makes good tallow for lamps, and the kernel gives a 
medicmal oil;* besides which the "cabbage" is by no means 

We then visited the church N^ S^ da Conceigao, and found 
the Santissimo exposed and the nuns singing behind the grated 
choir-cage, which, as usual, fronts the Seat of Honour or High 
Altar. At the " Speak-House," where a grille allowed us to 
address the unseen inmates, and where an upright barrel with 
a stave or two knocked out, pivots in and out their humble 
wants, we were allowed to take the Livro das Entradas ; it 
begins with an interesting paper dated July 18, 173-. After 
collating it with the Claustro Franciscano (Frei Apollinario, 
Lisboa Occidental, mdccxl.), and lastly with the Relatorio of the 
Vice-Director General, the Chantre Jose Ribeiro Bhering (Ouro 
Preto, 1852), I compiled the following account of the oldest 
religious house in Minas. 

About 1710 two brothers, Manoel and Felis da Costa Soares, 
" godly men and of a goodly house " — in those days the " vulgar " 
colonist would hardly have dared to be better than his neighbours 
— came here from Pernambuco, in search of lands, bringing 
sisters, nieces, and a widowed daughter. On August 12, 1714, 
they began to build a secular house, which "had no meum and 
tuum." This " Convento Vellio " lay south of the present site, 
and its rums still show in the thin palmetum. Felis met on 

* St. Hil. (I. ii. 378), says that this jiisqu'ici comme foxirnissant de I'liiiile." 

palm tree is very remarkable. * ' Car, s'il Yet he miist often have seen the Elteis 

existe nne foule de s^mences oleagineuses, gninecnsis, the Dende of the Brazil, and 

I'olivier est, a ma connaissance, le seul perhaps he had eaten " j)alm- oil -chop. " 
ar))ro dont le p^ricarpe ait ete signale 


the banks of the Rio das Yellias a hermit, habited in a garb then 
strange to liim, but which he presently found to be that of " N"" 
S^ da Conceicao de Monte Alegre ; " the recluse mysteriously 
disappeared — perhaps, said Padre Lana, it was a vision — and 
the laic, being unmarried, resumed the garb minus only the hat. 
Thus arose in the " Sitio de Mocaubas," the first convent of 
the Eecolhidas, dedicated to the " Immaculate Mother of God." 
The " Seraphic Order," then in lusty youth, came to its aid, 
and soon raised for it by alms 60,000 crusados, — say £60,000 of 
this our day. 

The Sister Catharina de Jesus became the first Reverend 
Mother — a fact about wliich there is some confusion in the Livro 
das Entradas — and died in 1717. She was followed by Felis on 
Oct. 11, 1737. The old convent sufi'ered from a torrent, and 
the present building was completed Dec. 25, 1745. D. Fr. 
Manoel da Cruz made it a branch Third Order of St. Francis, 
and it became a Mosteiro on Sept. 23, 1789. According to the 
" Relatorio," a rule was given to it bj^ Padre Antonio Affonso de 
Moraes Torres, Superior of the Caraca.* 

The Recolhimento receives nothing from the Government, but, 
as ^ill appear, much land has been left to it ; it lives by agri- 
culture and cattle breeding, and it no longer works the once rich 
muring estate. Of late years the revenues have been simplified 
by conversion into Government Bonds. Its object is to give 
the ''usual instruction required by the mother of a family," and 
in 1851 a sister and a pupil w^ere sent to learn, from the Soem"s 
of Marianna, a better system of instruction and house manage- 
ment. The h}^oercritical declare it to be a kmd of ''bush "-school, 
and the confessor had never heard of the Bull Unigenitus. The 
name of Professor Agassiz, who had been repeatedl}^ quoted by 
every journal in the Empke, was utterly unknown to him. How 
many millions of men ignore, we may ask, such persons as 
Alexander, Caesar, and Napoleon, the great Triad, the mighty 
Avatars of humanity ? 

Padre Lana accompanied us to the Venda, where we sat down 
to a long conversation. Here we found a weak old woman, 

* Even until very lately, throughout the the battle-field, reprehended the harmless 

Brazil pious women have collected together and often beneficial practice, and forced 

in houses, and have cohabited for devotional upon these sisterhoods the "rules" of 

purposes. The foreign ultra-montane Europe, which are often nothing else but a 

priests, who are here flocking like eagles to mere system of old Asiatic asceticism. 
VOL. ir. C 


who had worked at the Moito Vellio mine — the sisters will let, 
but will not sell their slaves. I asked her how she had been 
treated : ^' nunca apanhei " — " I never catched it " said the poor 
nanny-goat voice. We bade an unwilling adieu to the excellent 
Padre, who complained that I was pajdng him a " visita de 
Medico," in the Brazil not so complimentary as our ''angels' 
visits." Mr. Hock, who complained that he had been stiffly 
treated by a former vicar, that found him to be a ''herege," 
asked me, with Aj'-merican gravity, if I really thought that the 
'' sisters " were chaste ; it is curious to see how these men, so 
jealous of their countrywomen's honour, find " libertinism " ever}^- 
where. " What a sad (triste) race they seem to be," quoth 
Padre Lana on his side, as he looked at the old man champing 
in melancholy silence, behind his thin drawn-down lips, a huge 

The moon and stars were unusually bright, and the night was 
delightfully clear and cool. Before dawn in the next morning 
I was aroused by the moan of the dove and the small piping of 
the Saracura — commonly called the Saracula (Mr. Bates Serra- 
cura, Gallinula Cayennensis) — crane, that useful enemy of cock- 
roaches ; the cry of the Siriema or serpent bird, wdiich resembles 
the whining of pups, and the gabbling of bubbly-jocks mingled 
curiously. Land and water were obscured by a thick white fog,* 
but the Eliza was not a Ehine steamer to be stopped by it. The 
pilots consider it a sign of a still day, and presently it lifted, 
showing a wondrously high vault, stretched with cirrus in long 
curved brushes, f 

Friday, August 9. — AVe set out at 7 a.m., and presently ran 
down to '' Coqueiros," a fine site for a house, a dwarf level at 
the mouth of a gap between two hills, one grass}^ the other 
feathered and forested with palms. To-day the effect of a large 
influent appears in reaches somewdiat longer, there is less of 
dead drift-wood lining the banks, and the bed now begins to 
show "Bemansos," still places in deep pools. We grounded 
but three times, and only once our men were obliged to '' tumble 
in." The stream is admirably embanked, the bottoms are more 
extensive, while the lands, higher and drier, are of superior 

* Pqnilarly known as NeLIina or Nov- is little seen, e. g. " Catas Altas de Noroega. " 
oega; tins latter is probably an imported word, f Generally known as Rabo de Grallo— 

otten applied to a dark place where the sun cock's tail. 


quality and less desert. Women washing upon the margin no 
longer ran away unless we disembarked, and some asked with 
a scream if we were makmg a " planta " (map). The negroes 
were loading corn-cobs upon carts "s\ith plank floors, fenced 
round the top with square wattles fom' feet high ; sometimes this 
woven work sloped backwards from a high front, like the 
classical biga and the car of triumph. There is a scarcelj^ per- 
ceptible rapid called "das Alprecatas," * near the mouth of the 
Upper Pdbeii'ao de Taquarussu, whose jxllow and shallow waters 
head some eight leagues away. Near this place are settled a Mr. 
and Mrs. John Wood, whom I failed to find. 

Near the Taquarussu influent the bed, which has formed a 
neck, narrows, leaving a broad sandbank to the west ; this in- 
creases the swiftness of the stream from two to four knots,! and 
the sharp tmm and shallow water make the boatmen rejoice when 
they have passed it. Huge blocks of stratified sandstone (lapa) 
are tilted up at a shallow angle towards the river, forming giooni}' 
caverns, recesses and natural piers, wliich continue till near the 
ruinous " Fazenda do Mandim " — of the Mandim or Snorter, t 
The last time that I heard the song of the fish was in the port of 
S. Paulo de Loanda. 

Then the hills fall, and the low cultivable sides are those of 
an English water, whilst Campo-ground appears in the distance 
ahead. Fields of the liveliest colour, tellmg the richness of the 
sugar-cane, contrast with the darker gTeens and wintry browns ; 
the Uba § or arrow-reed, with lanceolate fan-shaped leaves and 
whitish flowers, here grows twenty feet high, and forms impene- 

* The Alparcatas or Alpargdtas sandals. the white meat is tolerable eating, at least 

f jVI. Liais calls the large sand-bar above the otters find it so. There are many 

the Taquarassn " Proa-Grrande, " doubtless a varieties : Mandim-assu ; M. Amarello ; M. 

misprint for Coroa-Grrande. Armado ; M. Capadelho ; M. Esquentado, 

X The Mandim (M. Liais -writes Mandin), &c., and M. Halfeld remarks (Rel. 215) 

called Roncador or Snorter, from its gnint- that "all these qualities are diminishing." 

ing noise, especially in the hot afternoons "Roncador" is the name given to several 

before rain, was kno-^ii to the Tupys as fish, especially on the south of the Villa da 

Mandue or ?.[andube. Some of the pilots Yittoria. (Prince ]\Iax. ii. 157.) 
declare that the noise is produced by fric- § Grynerium parvifolium, Mart. , Yuba, 

tion of the head upon the canoe bottom. It orArundo sagittaria(because the Indians used 

is one of the Sihuidfe, and resembles the it) of the System, and Saccharum Uba of St. 

Mississippi "cat." The usual length is Hil., who (III. i. 18) says that Luccock is 

from 18 inches to 2 feet, the yellow-brown wrong to write "Uva." Yet Uva. is pre- 

skin, with dark round spots, is scaleless, ferred by old authors. In S. Paulo it is 

the long barbacels give it the Anglo-Ameri- called Uba, from the Tupy iiy'ba, an arrow, 

can name, and the three dorsal fins are The ^lineiros know it as " canna brava, ' ' or 

dangerous. It keeps near the bottom, wild sugar-cane, 
bites voraciously, and, as it has few bones, 

c 2 


trable thickets. This Calamus seems ahnost independent of 
climate, and enjoys the coast-levels as well as the Highlands of 
the Brazil. Another narrow, where the drift-sticks hanging to 
the trees mark a flood rise of at least fourteen feet, leads to the 
first of the curious formations called *' Lapa de Stalactite." 
Here the limestone rocks on the left were hung in front with 
long tongue-shaped lappets of thin stone, which have a strange 

The next interesting point is the Ponte de Dona Ignacia. 
Since M. Liais wrote, the tall weed-grown bridge has opened a 
central gap of 30 feet, and people cross by the normal ferry, an 
" ajojo " of four canoes, with railed platform, worked by a chain 
and pulley. Opposite the large white Fazenda and distiller}^, now 
belonging to Lieut. -Col. Luiz Nogueira Barbosa da Silva, was 
wrecked the first steamer that appeared upon these waters, or 
indeed upon any of the island lines of the Brazil. M. William 
Kopke,* who came out as interpreter to the Cocaes Gold Mining 
Company, and who obtained a concession to navigate by steam 
the Rio de Sao Francisco, had the energy and enterprise to build 
her at Sahara in 1833-4. Like Captain Fitzgerald, of Larkhana 
in Sindh — who, by-the-b3^e, blew himself up — M. Kopke was 
obliged to make the greater part of his own engine, and some- 
times to use wood where metal was wanted. The experiment was 
so far successful, but no farther — the steamer here went down 

On the right bank, a little below this place, is an Olho de Agua, 
or pool, which they say communicates by a " sinker," t with a lake 
on the other side of the river. Bits of wood have been thrown in 
and have been recognized on re-appearance ; of course these 
natural tunnels are possible in a limestone countr3\ Presently 

* M. Kopke (or Kopque ?) wliom tlie afterwards Marquess of Barbacena. Slie 

decree calls "negociaute Hambiirghese, " ran to tlie then Villa of Cachoeira, and was 

losing liis steamer, rigged up a boat and wrecked by a storm upon tlie Monserrato 

visited the Paracatu River. His brother, beach. In 1822 a steamer was sent from 

Dr. Henry Kopke, is still at Petropolis. Rio de Janeiro to Santos, carrying a deputa- 

After the first concessionist, whose permis- tion of distingiiished men, and the Desem- 

sion to navigate the Rio des Velhas was de- bargador Joao Evangelista de Faria Souza 

creed Aug. 26, 1834, and was extended to the Lobato. They persuaded the patriotic Jose 

Sao Francisco November 14, 1834,M.Tarte, a Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva to accompany 

Belgian engineer, applied for the same ex- them, and returned to the capital on Janu- 

clusive privilege, but did not obtain it. ary 16, 1822, a week after the Prince 

The first steam-shiij that ever plied in Regent had declared that he would not 

the Brazil was built in 1819 at Bahia, by leave the Brazil. 

Sr. Felisberto (jomes Caldeira Brant Pontes, f Popiilarly called the * * Sumidouro. " 




the sun set, the cokl made us gather round the galley- fii-e, and 
the moon rose with low, uncertam light. The crew, not having 
seen the bed during the last foiu* years, became veiy nervous as 
we swung round the Cachoeii'a de Jacii, with its swift deep cur- 
rent imimiging upon the right bank of the narrow bed. I felt 
that a stick or a stone might spoil my whole journe}^, and I 
allowed them to make fast at the '' Porto do Bebedor."* AVe 
scrambled up the steep bank to the house of Sr. Antonio 
Loiu'enco, and were admitted to the strangers' room, as soon as 
the key would tm*n, by the daughter of the house. D. Conrada, 
still in her teens, w^as the mother of three children and the 
widow of a tropeii'o : she made coffee, warmed oiu' beef, and sat 
chatting with us till we slept — a rare and recordable incident of 
hodiernal Brazilian travel in the Far West. 

August 10. — The morning was mistless, and we set oif early. 
After nearly two hours we saw on the left bank a large and much 
decaj^ed square of white-washed and red-tiled building, backed 
by a neat chiu'ch — the Fazenda de Jaguara.f At the " port " 

* The " drinker ;" a drain, not a drainer. 

+ Some explain Jaguara to be the name 
of the well-known ounce— puma or S. Ame- 
rican lion. Othei-s explain it by Jahu or 
Jau-guara. The "Jahu-fish (is here) 

Jaguara, corrupted Jaguar, lagoar, and 
so forth, is properly "Ja," we, us, and 
"guara," an eater, a devourer (of us), 
and was applied by the indigenes to all 
man-eating beasts. Doubtless in the eaidy 
days of colonisation, when these large cats 
knew nothing of the gun, they were dan- 
gerous enough. At present their corn-age 
seems to have cooled, and the ]Matador de 
Oncas — -tueur d'onces — once so celebrated 
in the Brazil, finds a large slice of his occu- 
pation gone. ]\Iany travellers have seen 
nothing of this king of the cats, except the 
places Avhere it sharpens its claws. I have 
had experience of one live specimen, and 
that too by night. The people stiU fear 
them, especially at night, and have many 
traditional tales of their misdeeds. They 
are still very dangerous to dogs, monkeys, 
after which they climb, to the Capyi^ara, an 
esj)ecial favourite, and to the young of 
black cattle. There are four large varieties 
of these Felidte : 

1. The Onca gucuaranna, or gucurana, 
(Mr. Bates ' ' Sassu-arana, or the false 
deer"), v.-hence the barbarously corrupted 
"Cougouar," derived throuarh the " (jrua- 

zouara" of Azara. It is variously termed 
FeKs Onga, or brasiliensis, or concolor, 
the last term being the best name. It is 
one of the biggest. I have seen a brown- 
red skin 5ft. Sin. long, not including the 
tail, yet it is the least dangerous. The 
range of this puma, or red lion, a^jpears to 
extend throughout the tropical and temi»e- 
rate zones of the New World. It is evidently 
the "painter" (panthei") of the United 

2. Cangouassu or Cangussu, the largest 
variety, yviih. smaller rounded spots of a 
lighter colour, on a dark brown-red skin. 
Prince Max. informs us (iii. 1-38) that in Ba- 
hia it is applied to a small animal whose 
pelage is marked with small blacker spots. 

3. The On^a ijintada (painted ounce), also 
called the Jaguarete (true or great eater). 
This "Felis discolor" is a very beautiful 
animal, especially when the M'hite field of 
its maculfe has a light pink blush. In 
shape much resembling the " cheetah," or 
himting leopard of Hindostan, it is the 
most dreaded ; it does great damage to 
cattle ; it worries and destroys far more 
than it needs, and after gorging itself with 
blood, it retiu-ns at leisure to eat the flesh. 

4. The "Tigre," or On^a Preta, is the 
black Jaguar, a rare animal now in the 
Brazil, but still found, I am told, on the 
banks of the Upper Paraguay River. As a 
variety it probably resembles the black 


where the Eibeii-ao cle Jagiiara falls in, I was met by Dr. Quinti- 
liano Jose da Silva, ex-President of Minas, and now here offi- 
cially as Treasury Judge (Juiz dos Feitos da Fazenda Nacional). 
He led me up to the house, introduced me to the mistress, D. 
Francisca dos Santos Dumont, the daughter of our host at Ouro 
Preto, showed me to the strangers' room, and lavished all the 
hospitable attentions in wdiich his countrjanen are such adepts. 

leopard of the Niger Yalley ; and the dark veiling bags, and even hunting caps. Of 

spots upon a sable skin render it peculiarly course the spotted ounce is preferred ; and, 

interesting. as a rule, the skins are as thoroughly spoiled 

I have seen good collections of these skins as if they had been handled by negroes, 

on the Rio das Velhas. Here, however, as They are ruthlessly deprived of head, legs, 

elsewhere, they are expensive, and are soon and often of tail. En revanche the leather is 

bought up for local iise. All classes covet well and carefully tanned, 
them for saddle-cloths, pistol holsters, tra- 




A distant clearness in the liill, 
A secret sweetness in the stream. 


At this liospitable house I spent five pleasant days, wliilst 
another crew was being engaged, and arrangements for \\\\ reach- 
ing Diamantina were being completed. "Jaguara" has, in its 
day, caused no little sensation in the Province, and the following 
are the heads of information touching the ^'extincto vinculo" — 
the ''cut-off entail." 

Half a centuiy ago, a certain Colonel Antonio de Abreu Gui- 
maraes amassed a large fortune with 750 slaves, and still more by 
forgetting to pa}' the Government dues on diamonds exported 
from Diamantina and other places. He held an enormous pro- 
perty of 36 square leagues (427,504 acres), which was afterwards 
divided into seven great estates. The first was Jaguara, con- 
taining 1000 alqueii'es, (each 6x2 square acres) : this was lately 
bought, without the 200 slaves, b}'^ M. Dumont's father-in-law, 
for 12 contos, 1200/. The next was the Mocambo, actual^ 
belonging to Colonel Francisco de Paulo Fonseca Vianna. Then 
came the Bebida, including Casa Branca, Saco das Egoas, and 
Saco da Yida. It once contained four square leagues, now it is 
reduced to 1300 or 1350 alqueii'es, and it is to be sold for 3000?. — 
30,000/. with a total of 170 slaves:— we shall visit it down stream. 
Number 4 was the Pviacho of Joao Paulo Cotta ; then ranked the 
Pindah3'ba, now Ponte Nova, including the Taboca, formerly the 
X^roperty of Antonio Jose Lobo and Domingo Jose Lobo, nephews 
of the Abreu, and afterwards purchased by Colonel Domingo 
Diniz Couto. No. 6 was the Brejo of Francisco Fernandez 


Machado and his brother; and lastly, the '' Mello " was the 
nucleus of the estate. 

The old contrabandist, who had also farmed with exceptional 
success the ruinous ro3'al tithes, presently went to Lisbon, re- 
pented liim of his sins, and was ordered by his confessor to build 
a church to N^ S* da Conceigao ; furthermore, by way of fire- 
escape, he was directed to tie up (vincular) the greater part of 
his enormous estate for the benefit of religious houses. He wrote 
from Portugal to his brother, Francisco Martins de Abreu, with 
all directions to carry out his orders, and the latter, much against 
his will, was compelled to sign all necessary documents by the 
authorities of Sahara, who met him, they say, on the road, and 
led him into an adjoining cave. The old man died in the Con- 
vento da Cartuxa at Lisbon, some declare miserabty poor, others 
represent in miserly wealth, of which he had droj^ped but a small 

The revenue of this vast estate w^as divided into five portions, 
of wliich three were made over to the Misericordia of Sahara, one 
was given to the Eecolhimento of Macahubas, and the fifth part 
was distributed amongst the relations of the mortgager, the 
famihes of Abreu and Lobo. The Governmental administration 
w^as placed under a Junta, or Commission, who levied the rents, 
and paid them through the Juiz dos Feitos Provincial, into the 
Provincial Treasury. It is needless to say that the revenue 
declined; it gradually fell to 4 $800 per annum. Decree No. 306, 
of Oct. 14, 1843, " extinguished " the mortgage, and permitted 
the sale of the property. Since that time it has fetched, they 
tell me, some 40,000L The seventh estate, called the Mello, is 
still being surveyed for sale,* and this accounts for the presence 
of the high officials at Jaguara. 

Dr. Quintiliano kindly rode with me about the estate. There 
is a garden close to the stream, on a fine ledge of rich, red- 
brown clay (macape), which might be extended for many acres. 
My companion was emphatic upon the immense fertility and 
salubrity of the place, f and truly, as the spring was setting in. 

The Mello contained 63 sesmarias (here of the American settlers, 

generally half a square league). Of these f Another estate, Pao de Cheiro, some 

10 were measured in 1865; 38 in 1866; three leagues down the river, and belonging 

and 1.5 in 1867 ; leaving 63 for survey. It to 7 or 8 proprietors, is held to be a sani- 

has })een bought since I left the river by tarium. 
the Provincial Gfovernment for the benefit 


and the bii'ds were making love, and the trees were weaving their 
new coats of many colours, the microcosm looked enchanting. 
He showed me some dry sticks, which a few days before he had 
planted m the ground ^\ith ashes of decayed wood, and upon 
which he had turned a tiny stream : all had budded ; the effect of 
the subjacent limestone, the finest natural manure. The tene- 
ments are in poor condition : the low, long walls, and the hollow 
squares suggest the "Hishan" of the Ai^abs ; these, however, are 
white- washed and tiled. The out-houses are in a still more 
tattered state ; the owner cares more for the exploitation of the 
Pdo das Yelhas * than for agriculture or horticulture. The only 
part tolerably well preserved is a detached building, the Casa da 
Junta,t where the Commissioners met ; the little church had been 
lately repaii'ed, but its congregation was mainly the " Sanharo," I 
a fierce species of wasp, dangerous to other honey-makers. 

Our next visit was to the lakelets and to the vast limestone for- 
mations on the north-west of the estate. We passed a red digging, 
an open cut from which much gold had been taken by the ancients. 
Thence we issued upon a praii'ie of " spotty soil," here rich and 
red, there white with gravel. No lack of good grazing ground, 
and the cattle on the estate had, I was told, been worth 4000/. 
The vegetation was that of the Campos about Barbacena, the 
trees were hard gnarled Barbatimao, Pataro, Geao de Gallo, 
Piqui, Tingui,§ and Sicupira. Besides these, I remarked the 
Sambahj^ba (Curatella Sambaiba, also written Sambaiiva), with 
valueless fruit, a rough leaf used for brushing cloth, and astrm- 
gent bark, good for tanning and for dressing wounds ; it has the 
effect of iodine in resolving chronic inflammations. Another 
common tree was the Cagaitera (Eugenia dysenterica), an ugly 
name, but a pretty growth, with white flowers and milk-producing 
leafage : the Cagaita, or berry, is a strong drastic. Here grows 

* I obtained a copy of a map siu'vey of than at Sahara, 

the Rio das Velhas by M. Henrique DiimoDt, J It resembles the PelopaEus lunatns 

dated October 186J:. It agreed Avell with described by Azara and Prince ^lax. (i. 139). 

the kbours of ]\L Liais. The latter makes it attach its pyriform nest 

+ 1 found the Casa da Junta (B. P. 208^ "SO, to trees as well as houses, 

therm. 72°) = 1807 feet above sea-level. § This must not be confounded with the 

Pelissher's aneroid gave (29 '46, therm. Tingi, Tingy, Tingui, or Tiniury daPraya, a 

6i°) = 51:3 feet. Mr. Gordon's observation kind of lliana (Jacquinia obovata), which, 

(29 "14, therm. 74°) = 553 feet. AH these like the Paullinias, is used for intoxicating 

observations are cui-iously under-estimated. fish. The branches are cut, bruised, tied 

The river is here about 646 metres above in bundles, and thrown into water whose 

sea-level (2120 feet), or 49 metres lower course has been arrested by a dam. 


in abundance the stunted Acaju or Caju, wliicli we call Cashew 
(Anacardiumoccidentale,Lmn.; Cassuvium, Jussieu) : amongst the 
aborigines it was a growth of great importance,* they numbered 
then- 3^ears by it, they kept the nuts to remind them of their age, 
and they made of it their most valued Cauim or wine. The 
Goanese extract from it a neat brandy; here it, is mostly made 
into sherbets, and strangers have burnt their lips by eating the 
dark reniform kernel that grows outside : the bitter gum called 
by the Tupys Acaju- Cica (for " icica," resin), is used b}^ book- 
binders, and keeps off worms. In the lower sites there is a kind 
of salsaparilla (Salsa do Campo and do Matto), which appears on 
ant-hills under the trees. The root is large and white ; the yellow 
being preferred in Europe and the United States ; the people 
declare that it should be drunk with milk, to disguise its acridity, 
and use it much, but with care, avoiding it for instance in the middle 
of the day. The garden-grown salsaparilla is all cut at this 
season, and the shops here ask 2 $000 per lb. of the dry old twigs 
sent from Eio de Janeu-o. 

The only birds were the Siriema,t that hunted the serpents 
from our path; its favourite ''big brother" the Ema (ostrich) 
which never gave a shot under 200 yards, and the pretty little 
Tiriba paroquet, with cuneiform tail (Psittacus cruentatus, 
Mart.),! which shrieked as it i^assed us like an arrow. The 
" Campeu'os," or herdsmen, wild as the Somal, were pictm'esque 
in their leather wide-awakes, sitting loosely upon ragged nags 
with wild equipments ; huge spurs armed their naked heels, and 
the wooden box stirruj)s which the cistus renders necessary in 
Portuguese Algarves, defended their toes. They were wiry and 
well-grown men ; here it is remarked that even the slave-boys 

* They called ''Acaju acai piracoba" convert the quarters into week?. 
Avhat the Brazilians term Chuvas de Cajii, + The Cariama of Marcgraf. Prince 

which fall in August to September, and Max. (iii. 115) describes it as an " oiseau 

which injure the inflorescence of the Ana- ddfiant," but I have seen it tame enough, 

cavdium. Sonthey (i. 181) confounds the especially as the people do not molest it. 

"Caju" with the "Anati" (Olli moquilia, It is easily domesticated. My friend Sr. 

a Chrysobalan), a "Madeira reservada," or Antonio da Lacerda, jun., of Bahia, has or 

hard-wood forest tree, of which there are had a specimen. It flies for short distances, 

many species, some bearing a fruit that the wings being feeble, the l)ody heavy, and 

yields an intoxicating drink. it may be nm down where there are no 

The altorigines began their years with the trees, 
heliacal rising of the Pleiades. Their months t Described by Prince Max. (i. 103), 

were called, like the moon, "Jacy," from who was reminded of the "Croupion" (P. 

"ya," we, or our, and "cy," mother. crythrogaster) of the Berlin Museum. 
Like most savages, they had not learned to 


wlio are mounted in earl}' life, are much taller and stronger than 
those bred in the house. This may partly be owing to their 
abundant diet of milk and cheese, farinha, and sun-dried meat. 
Here and there were scattered the huts of ''aggregados," squatters 
who are permitted to Hve upon theFazenda, but who do not acquii'e 
by residence any right to the soil. 

The lakelets are of little importance : they are the Lagoa Seca, 
then dry; the Lagoa dos Porcos, where i^orkers are bred and cut 
up; the Lagoa de Dentro, which oyerflows, and leayes after retreat 
a thick, short-piled carpet of soft sweet grass, and the Lagoa de 
Aldea, so called from an Indian settlement, which has now dis- 
appeared. These pools, fed by rain- drainage, and somethnes by 
sprmgs, are scattered eyerj'where oyer the country : they are 
natural yivaria, producing in abmidance the " Trahh-a " fish.* 

Presently crossing a waye of ground, we entered a small Mata 
or patch of dwarf forest in the Bebida estate. The low-lying soil 
is fine, as we are told by the Mutamba or Motamba tree 
(Guaxuma ulmifolia),f which bears an emoUient gelatino- saccha- 
rine fruit, and whose gum refines sugar. The leguminous Angico 
(Acacia Angico), delicately feathered, whose bark abounds in 
tannm, is also a good sign. My attention was called to the 
Macela do Campo, whose yellow flowers, resembling immortelles, 
are used to stuff pillows ; to the Fruta Cheh'osa (one of the Ana- 
cardiaceffi), with a large "baga " or berry, now green and milky ; 
and to the Almecegueira (Icica or Icicariba Amyris, Aublet), with 
sweet-smellmg wood, and perfumed resin used for a yariet}^ of 
technologic purposes. + 

I could not but observe how abundant was the antefibrile 
element : the Formulary quotes 15 species, several of them 
resembling those of Peru. In the denser growths was the Quina 

* Grardner writes Traira (Pi'ince Max. Tiipys knew it as Ibixuma. 
Trai'ra), and describes it as " rather slen- J In Portuguese Almecega is gum mas- 

der." I found it short and thick, like a tic (Amyris) ; hence the Brazilian tree is 

doubled John Dory. It extends all down named. 

the river, and has several varieties, Trahira- ,, 

assit, T. -mirim, and so forth. The flesh is " ^ almecega que se usa no quebranto. 

good, but too spiny to be eaten with plea- ,, ^,^^ ^^ ^^^^.^ ^^^^^ f^^ -^^^^ 1^^^^,^,^.. 

sure. Its dark back, ugly mouth,^ and ^ ^^-^ Caramuni (7, 51). On the coast 

rat s teeth make the people cal it Pau de ^^ ^.^^ .^^j^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^^^^^ ^^,^^^ 

JNegro— negro wood — and refuse to touch it. . •, ^ v i ^ .+„ „iixr ^^^,. ;r,+«-,.r,ni 

m, rr 1 • Ti XI -D- V, 1, 1 4.1, IS every«^here applied externally tor internal 

The Trahira, like the Piabanha and the . . . ■^ i ^. , + ,,.„c- „T,ric.^f^,^iT 

T)- • ' 1 J. -4.1, • 4.1 • luiunes, as hernias, ruptures, and so forth, 

riau, IS commonly met with m the rivers „J t u m i 4- " ^i,/„;^„n,. -rr^^^-^c, 

4-1 t. f 11 • 4. 4.U ij-i 4.- /-^ The v.-ord "Quebranto classically means 

tnat tall into the Atlantic Ocean. ... . ,. ,,^i -i 

J. Tir .' u • A 1 1 4.1 ' • fascmatio, the evil eve. 

T Mutamba is aa Angola word; the ^^^'^ •■ , 


do Mato (Cliincliona Remigiana) ; and with it the " Poor man's 
Quinine," a tree with bitter bark and sweet fruit, called by manj^ 
names. Pan Pereira (Geissospermum Vellozii), Uba-assii, Pau 
Forquilha, Pan de pente (comb-wood), Camara de bibro (for 
bobbins), Camara do Mato, Canudo Amargoso or Pinguaciba.* 
There is also an abundance of the Cha de Pedreste, or de frade 
(Lantana Pseudo-thea). The giants of the forest are there, 
especially the Jatobaf (H3'men?ea, whose leaves are in pairs), 
which in August yields a wine, said to be very pectoral ; it bears 
gum anime (Jutay Cica), a good pottery varnish, and a copal 
used by the Indians in making their labrets and other ornaments ; 
the flowers are enjoyed by the deer, especially that called Mateiro, 
and the long chestnut-coloured pods that strew the ground suppl}' 
a flour of insipid taste, which serves, however, in times of 
famine. The most beautiful growth is the Ipe Amarello, or Pan 
d'Ai'co, '' bowdarque " (Bois d'arc, a Bignonia), a tall thin trunk, 
as yet without leaves, which will appear after inflorescence ; its 
trumpet-shaped blossoms, in tufts of j^ellow gold, would make the 
laburnum look dull and pale.t 

Presently we came to the foot of the Pedreiras, where the land 
wants water, a fatal objection in the present state of things. This 
is a lump of naked, fine black-blue and stratified limestone, 
weathered so as to resemble basalt from afar : it runs from north 
to south, when it joins the forested Serra d'Aldea, also a calca- 
reous formation, large enough to supply the Province for centu- 
ries. The outcrop is marked with stride and holes of dull, dead 
white, from which spring trees, and especially Cactus, whose figs 

* System (p. 95-97). In the Campos " ol)a," a leaf, and "a," augmentative, 

are the several Chinchonacete, Qiiina do alluding to the dense and beautifully domed 

Campo (C. Vellozii?) with dark and spotted foliage. The hark was used to make the 

leaves, and a sweet fruit upon which birds native "uba," or coracle. The wine must 

feed. St. Hil. (III. i. 229) mentions a be drawn before the young leaves aj^pear. 
Quina do Campo or de Mendanha, which he + Of the Bignonias there are many kinds, 

found to he a Stryclmos Pseudo-quina. c.(/., Ipeiina, whoso heart supplied the 

The other common sjiecies is the Quina da hardest and best material for bows ; Ipc- 

Serra (C. ferruginea). Camara is the local roxo with mauve and purple blossoms ; 

name of a plant called in Portugal "Mai- Ipe-tabaco, so called because the heai't con- 

mequer;" bibro (from "volvere") is tains a fine powder of light green ; the Big- 

"fusus." nonia cordacea (Sellow), with blossoms of 

t This fine feathery forest tree, which tender yellow ; Ipe-branco, Avith large white 

prefers the dry woodlands, has many other blossoms. On the coast the young foliage 

Tupy names, for instance, Jatahy (Jutahi of In-own and burnished tinge, curiously 

and Jutahi-Sica (Mr. Bates, i. 83), Jetahy, contrasting with its neighbours, is put forth. 

Jetaiba, Abati-timbaby, Jatai-uva (or in early spring, at the end of August. In 

uba). According to Sr. J. de Alencar " Ja- these Highlands it is later, 
toba" is derived from Jetahi, the tree. 


are here appreciated. To the west of these " Bald Knobs," I 
was told, flows a broad stream, arismg near the hill-summit, a 
common feature in Kentuck}- and other limestone countries. 
After runnmg 300 yards it disappears into an underground pas- 
sage, from which it presently emerges. My "American"* 
informant told me that it could work any amount of machinery. 
Hereabouts are caves which yield saltpetre, and where Dr. Lund 
made some of his greatest discoveries. 

On our waj^ back we passed by the Lagoa Grande, the largest 
of the pools; around it was a Campo Novo — a ''new," that is 
a newly fii-ed prairie ; the bright green grass started up from 
betw^een the stones, which are supposed to defend it by i)re- 
serving the moisture. Here also were fair slopes of graceful 
rounded forms, where the plough can act perfectly. From the 
rising ground we saw to the north the long Hne of the Cipo 
Eange, limestone forested with Mato Dentro. To the north- 
east was the box-lilve apex of the Serra do Baldim (pronounced 
Bardim), and to the south-south-east the quoin-shaped and 
cloud-crowned head of our old friend the Piedade near Cuiaba. 

My next excursion was to the Lagoa Santa, in company with 
Sr. Jose Rodriguez Duarte, whose amiable family we had met 
at Ouro Preto. The path was southerly, hugging the left bank 
of the Old Squaws' Paver. From the uplands before 8 a.m., the 
Valley appeared a serpentine of dense white mist, cHnging to and 
curling up along the wooded bed : a suggestive spectacle, which 
never loses its interest. Presently we passed the rich fish-pool, 
Lagoa do Corrego Seco ; its village of four houses boasted of an 
Inspeitor de Quarteriio, the humblest of police authorities, 
facetiously called Juiz de Paz. x\fter a total of an hour we 
crossed the southern limit of the Jaguara estate, and at six 
miles for head-quarters we sighted the " Sumidouro " or Smker. f 
This pool is said to be connected by a tunnel with the Ollio 
de Agua on the right bank. To the west lay the village, lazily 
creeping up the wild slope, and much resembhng a scatter of 

* Americano in the Brazil always means into a subterraneous cliannel) lie explored 

a citizen of tlie United States. the Sei-ra of Sahara Bussu. " The feature 

+ The place alluded to by Southey, iii. reminds us of the subterranean river which 

48. "From his (Fernando Diaz) head is supposed to run under the good city of 

quarters at the Sumidouro (or Swallow, as Tours, 
those places are called whei-e a river sinks 


The next feature was the " Qumta do Sumidouro," a one- 
streeted Tillage with a brand-new chapel, N'^ S^ do Eosario ; it 
is mainly the work of an Italian, the Rev. Padre Eafaelle 
Speranza, who, if half the tales told about him are half true, 
has been left to live by a kind of mii-acle. Here men still re- 
member a tragical episode in the eventful career of Fernando 
Dias Paes Leme, one of the most adventurous of the Paulista 
explorers. He was then seeking for " green stones " or emeralds, 
near a pestilential water known as the Vepabussii or Great Lake, 
and the hardships caused many of his Ped-skin auxiliaries to 
revolt. They were prompted by one of his illegitimate sons, to 
whom he was greatly attached. When the mutiny was quelled, 
the father took the first opportunity of asking the 3'outh what 
I)enalty was deserved by a man who had dared to rebel against 
the king's majesty. 

'• He should be hanged," said the son. 

" Thou hast pronounced thy own doom ! " rejDlied the father, 
who, stern as the first consul of Pome, ordered the sentence at 
once to be carried into effect.* The old man died a few da3^s 
afterwards, '' Ynhouzzled, disappointed, vnnaneld," on his way 
from the Lagoa Santa to Sahara. 

Sr. Leite, an intelligent store-keeper at the Quinta, which is 
about half a mile from the Piver, assured me that the ground 
had lately been subject to shocks, which were most frequent 
about full moon ; he seemed to fear for it the fate of Mendon9a. 
In this limestone region I could detect no sign of igneous action, 
plutonic or volcanic ; but the earthquake at Alexandria, and 
another which I witnessed at Accra on the Gold Coast, prove 
that sedimentary formations are b}^ no means exempt from the 
visitations of Ennosigaeus. 

The rest of the road was over wild and picturesque Campo, 
where the bright little Pibeirao Jacques will some day be 
valuable. Presently, after 3'""^ 30'" = 12 miles, topping a long 
hill, we saw below us a shallow basin, with a church and a 
scatter of white and brown houses — the town of Lagoa Santa. 
The streets were formed by the '' compound " vv\alls : tile-coped, 
and protected by a few inches of taipa or pise, resting on a layer 

* Soutliey (iii. 49) recounts the story niul declares that the " Vupabussu" was 

nearly in the same words. St. Hil. (I. ii. 189) afterwards called "Lagoa Encantada," 

places the scene of the " Octagenarian's" because it could not he found, 
adventure in the Province of Porto >Seguro, 


of ruslies, wliicli projects on both sides and defends the lower 
part of the x^erpendicular mud. AVe rode up to the square, 
"Praca de N^ S^ da Saude, so called from the Matriz, to the 
east of which is a fine fig-tree being rapidly devoured by the 
*' Bird Herb" (a Polygonea ?). The place, now so quiet and 
sleej)y, has seen wild times. Successful at Queluz (Juh^ 27, 1842), 
the insui'gents retu*ed to the Capao de Lana, and, after a week, 
when the " Oligarchy" rendered this position untenable, the}^ re- 
treated and entrenched themselves in the Arraial da Lagoa Santa. 
An ambuscade of forty men wounded the lo3'alist colonel, Manuel 
Antonio Pacheco, afterwards Barao de Sahara, and repulsed his 
750 men. The attack was renewed, the Kevolutionists fought 
stoutly, and an aunt of Adrianno Jose de Moura assisted them 
by serving out ammunition ; on the 6th August, however, they 
were obliged to take to the bush. The conduct of the late Baron 
was praised, even by his enemies ; he was one of few who treated 
the captm-ed with kindness. 

We rode up to some horse-posts (estacas) opposite a door, 
over which was inscribed F. F., and, having heard of a French 
hotel, we knocked. The house was opened by a verj^ Enghsli- 
looldng dame, who proved to have been born at Malta ; we asked 
to see M. Francois Fom-reau, and we were told to dismount. 
After shaking hands and exchanging salutations in the *' language 
of Racine and Corneille," we ordered breakfast unceremoniously 
enough; the host joined us, and we enjoyed an excellent soupe 
and bouilli, not often eaten outside French walls. An old sous- 
officier of the 16'"^ Leger, he had been taken prisoner m the 
Russian Campaign, and the result was that he, a tres joli garcon, 
set up a cii'cus, and had travelled all about Western Asia. His 
three stalwart sons, including "Bibi," were still conducting 
the business at Diamantina ; his daughter, a pretty ecuyere and 
married, as " Pedrinho " proved, lived with her parents. The 
good old soldier had bought considerable property at Lagoa 
Santa, he lusted to escape from it, but he did not see the way 
out. He was by no means one of that wretched race, which 
belongs to France or to England, not to the world. We passed 
the night with wine and jollity, and when I suggested the 
''addition," M. Fourreau laughed in my face. I am sorry to 
say that Madame did lilvewise ; yet I left them with regret. 

On arrival we sent our cards to Dr. Lund, the illustrious 


Dane, tlie hermit of science, who had spent a portion of his life 
in the hone-caves of Minas Geraes. I was most anxious to ask 
him ahout the " fossil man," or " sub-fossil man," as opposed 
to the ''primeval" or "prehistoric man." The term has been 
prematurely decided to be "a misnomer, since the thing so 
designated is of all things the most desired, the most sought 
after, but perhaps the least likely to be found." Still the influence 
of Cuvier ! I was also desirous to know if the incisor teeth of 
the fossils had naturally oval upper surfaces (not worn down), 
and of longer antero-posterior diameter than transverse. Dr. Lund 
has for years been prevented by consumptive tendencies from 
living out of the Brazil ; he has bought a house in the square 
of Lagoa Santa, and, as might be expected, he has become bed- 
ridden by rheumatism. He is said to live chiefly on Caparosa- 
ptisane,* which combines theine with cafl'eine. We perforce 
accredit others with our own feelings, and I felt sad when pic- 
turing to myself the fate of so great a traveller, doomed to end 
his days without a relation by his side, in the social gloom of 
this gorgeous wilderness. M. Fred. Wm. Behrens, the savan's 
obliging secretary, came over with many excuses and prayers 
that we would wait till the next morning. We did so, but with- 
out success. I suspect that our failure was caused by the nervous 
fear of strangers, which often aff'ects even strong men after a 
long residence in the Brazil, and indeed in the Tropics generally. 
Having heard many cimous lake tales f about what proved to 
be on inspection a vulgar feature, I spoke to M. Behrens, who 
led me to his employer's lust-haus on the holy lake, launched 

* " Caparosa" is primarily our copperas Prince Max. records tlie fables of the Taipe, 
(sulphate of iron), also applied to verdigris, and heard of other traditions on the banks 
and the shrubby tree got the name on ac- of the Rio dos Ilheos and the IMucury. The 
count of the tender blue-green leaf. It is Parima or Parimo Lake of Guiana is equal y 
knowTi at once by the ci:t or torn part of rich in legends. Connected with lakes of 
the twig turning dark and tarnished. Ac- golden sands was the city of Beni, Griio 
cording to the System it contains tannic Pard,, Grrao Pairiri or Paititi, alias El Dorado, 
acid with a solution of iron, which may be wliose streets were paved with the precious 
made into ink, and which supplies a black metal, and where the Emperor of the Musus, 
dye. The abuse of its ptisane has, I was the great Paititi or gilded king of the Spa- 
told, been already fatal to some who have niards, was smeared with oil as lie rose in 
followed the example of Dr. Lund. The the morning, and covered with gold dust 
celebrated Paullinia Sorbites, better known blown at him by his courtiers through long 
as Guarand (from the Tupy Guarana-uva) reeds. Castelnau (vol. xi. 41) relates 
also combines theine and caffeine. those of the Boldivian " Opabusti. " This 

t These lake superstitions are common word, like Southey's Vepabussii, is a cor- 

in the Brazil. La Condamine, Humboldt, ruption of Ypabussti, ypaba in the Lingua 

and others speak of the Lagoa Dourada. Brasilica meaning a lake. 
Henderson mentions that of the Lagoa Feia. 


the boat, and struck out with the paddle. The piles and poles 
which have been said to denote pfalbauten or crannoges, were 
probably an old palisading now flooded. The length is about 
one and a half miles from south-west to north-east bending east, 
wdiere a sangrador or drain, some eight to nine miles long, dis- 
chai'ges it into the Eio das Yelhas, near the Fazenda called of 
Dona Ignacia.* The southern side had gTeatty shrunk, and we 
saw at once what causes the "bubbling surface." Here, during 
the rains, is a Cabeceira or head stream, one of the many feeders 
from the basin-sides, which gently rise to grassy Campo ground. 
On the opposite margin of the little reservoir rises a pretty bit 
of cockney forest, which has been pierced with toy paths. The 
lake is said to be filling up, and the greatest depth in the centre 
is three fathoms. The sides are overgrown with a fine pithy 
rush (j unco), of which mats are made; this is one of the local 
industries ; the others are fishing and rude pottery, glazed with 
yellow^ and green. The poor almost live upon the Trahira, the 
Curumatfio, t and the dreadful Piranha. I The vegetation around 
is stunted ; we are still in the lands of the plantain and the pine, 
but the Araucaria is short and ricketty, evidently finding the air 
too hot to breathe. § 

The Holy Lake was originally called Ypabussii (Yupubussu), 
or Lagoa Grande ; it owes its pretentious name to superstitions 

^ Jlr. Gerber's map makes it heart- (Aiiodus amazonum), a most delicious fish, 

shaped, lying north and south, v,-ith the which, next to the Tucamare and the Pes* 

apex to the south, and he drains it h y a cada, is most esteemed hy the natives. " 
greatly exaggerated "Rio Fidalgo." The t The well-known Scissar fish, Piranha 

latter is the name of an estate belonging to in Tupy meaning scissars. Our authors 

the heirs of the late Cirurgiuo M6r, Serafini call it ''devil fish." Cixvier named it 

Moreira de Carvalho. Serra Salmo Piraya, and unconsciously sanc- 

t The name of this fish, one of the Salmo- tioned the vulgar Mineiro and Paulista cor- 

nidfe, is variously ^^Titten by authors. Prince ruption of Piranlia to Piray^-a (so Canayya 

Max.,Crumatam^Pizarro,CorimataandCur- for Canalha). Tlie fish is common in the 

matan ; St. Hil.,'also Curmatan ; Gardner, Upper Uruguay and the Paraguay, as well 

Cunmiatam ; Halfeld, Cumata or Curimata, as in the Sao Francisco. Those that I saw 

and the Almanak, Cummata— the latter were from one foot to eighteen inches long 

two neglecting the nasal sound which it by about ten inches deep, flat but short and 

certainly has. I hesitate whether to wTite tliick. The carnivorous fish swims verti- 

Curumatao or Gurumatao, the first conso- cally, and is supposed to turn on one side 

nant being doubtfully sounded. This fish when it bites ; the serrated teeth bend 

is about two feet long ; it leaps like our backwards ; they easily tear off the flesh, 

salmon, with its silvery scales glancing in and a shoal will, they say, in ten minutes 

the sun, and it must be caught in drag-nets, reduce a bullock to a skeleton. I found 

as it will not bite at bait. There is also a the meat dry, full of spines, and with poor 

salt-water fish of this name, soft and full flavour. On the Lower Sao Francisco the 

of spines. The savages shoot it with ar- people refuse to cat it. 
rows (Prince Max. ii. 137), Mr. Bates (ii. § The Lagoa Santa provedlto be 2228 

140), "Caught with hook and line, baited feet above sea-level (^B..P. 20-8° 'l, therm. 

with pieces of banana, several Curimata 76°). 



which have now died out. In ancient days people made of it a 
Pool of Bethesda, and a Dr. Cialli, in 1749, found that its waters 
contained medicinal properties. The tale which Henderson re- 
counts about its surf\ice being filmed over with a silvery pellicle 
like mercury, was unknown to all. They preserved, however, 
the tradition that, "once upon a time," a woman used to be seen 
hovering over the centre, whilst a silver cross arose from the 
depths. Many a hardy fellow, doubtless in a pitiable state of 
nervousness, paddled to make a prize of a precious metal, and 
was sunk by a mysterious whirlpool, when, as the Arabs say, he 
passed without loss of time from water to fire. The spirit was 
exorcised — a common process in Hibernian legends — by some 
hoi}' man, whose name has fallen into unmerited forgetfulness. 
Similarly in the Manitoulin Islands of Lake Huron, the Manitou 
(popularly and erroneously translated *' Great Spirit " ) forbade 
his children to seek for gold ; the ore was supposed to be found in 
heaps, but no canoe could reach the spot before being over- 
whelmed by a tempest. All these have vanished : — 

The intelligible forms of ancient poets. 
Die alten Fabel-wesen sind niclit melir. 

and humanity is no longer sorely tempted upon the Holy Lake. 

Disappointed, to Jaguara Ave returned, and I found it difficult 
to tear myself away from the pleasant society of my new friends. 
Dr. Quintiliano and Sr. Duarto. I little thought at the time that 
the latter was so near his end : he had been treated for ulceration 
of the leg ; the wound was healed, but when he returned to Ouro 
Preto he died suddenly. Hospitality is the greatest delay in 
Brazilian travel. It is the old stjde of Colonial greeting ; you 
may do what you like, you may stay for a month, but not for a 
day, and the churlish precepts and practices of Europe are un- 
known.* At length, however, I found a pilot, Chico (i. c, Fran- 
cisco) Diniz de Amorim, who had a farm near the Petiro das 
Freiras : lie was described to me as very "fearful" (medroso), 
meaning skilful and prudent. The others were Joaquim, the son 
of Antonio Correa, overseer of Casa Branca: a useless shock- 

* The Basquo proverb says, — 

Arraina eta aiToza 

Heren cgunac carazes, campova cleragoza, 

" i-'^lsh ami guests after tlie tliinl <lnv stink, nnd must ho east out of the house." 


head, unable to work. I presentl}- bought for 40 g 000, a Idnd of 
" Igara,"* a tender-canoe, and used to send him ahead to exi:»kn'e 
the Rapids. The third was Joao Pereu'a, of the Rio de Jaboti- 
catuba, a freedman of the hite Padre Antonio : he was the hardest 
worker of mj^ five crews, but as fierce and full of fight as a 
thorough-bred mastift'. We got on well together ; I did not, 
however, engage him for the Rio de Silo Francisco, lest his 
readiness with his shooting-iron might get me into trouble. 
These men were to receive 5 $000 per diem, and 2 $000 whilst 
returning to then- homes : they asked a couple of days to prepare, 
and they caused no unnecessary delay. Usually, every excuse is 
offered, the favourite one, both here, on the Rio de Sao Fran- 
cisco, and on the Amazons, being that the wife is about to grow 
another olive branch. 

As far as Jaguara, the River has shown us mere broken waters 
(Quebradas), tide-rips (Maretas), and runs, properly called 
" Correntezas," '' Corradeiras," or '' Corredeiras," and''pontas 
d'agua," when the stream swings swift around the points. The 
traveller, however, will hear them denominated Cachoeira,f a 
generic term, equally applied to the smallest ripple or Strom- 
schnelle, caused b}^ a sunken tree, and to the Paulo Affonso, 
King of Rapids. The word, therefore, Avill be used for conve- 
nience, without attaching to it any importance. To a certain 
extent it is coiTect, the difference of levels in most of the rapids 
is unimportant, and we shall not find a fall or drop (Salto) till we 
reach the Silo Francisco. The little perpendicular steps in the 
Cachoeira, or Correnteza, are called Corridas and Corred6cas,t 
and especialh" occur in the scatters of rocks, known as 'Tai- 
paba, a corruption of Itaipaba. § On the other hand, the 
*' Canal " is the fair-way through the Cachoeira. 

* This is the Tupy word from "yg," same pronuuciatiou. The word con'esponds 

v/ater, and "jara," lord. My "Lord of in part with the Raudales of the Orinoco, 

the Water" was of Mandim or Peroba In Tupy it is " aba-nheendaba," which 

wood, twenty-five feet long, with average means equally a rapid (Cachoeira) or a cata- 

breadth of nineteen inches. As usual here, I'act (Cascata or Catadupa). In parts of 

and the same is the case on the Mississippi, the Brazil, especially the Province of Sfto 

in defiance of all the rules of disjilacement, Panlo, Cachoeira means a rivulet, without 

the dug-out was made leek-shaped, bulging conveying the idea of raiiids. Cachoeira 

at the bows, with a head larger than the is a classical Portuguese word, scil. Cachao- 

body, under the raftsmanlike idea that cira, a place abounding in "cachoes," 

this facilitates progress. We can only com- plural of cachao, derived by Constantio 

pare them with the "plough bows" and from Coctio, boiling (water), 

the "short bluflF ships" which are now + This is also a classical Avord, locally 

figuring in our naval estimates. used in a limited sense. 

f Also written Caxoeira, which has the § The word is Tupy, "Ita-ipa" meau^ 

D 2 

36 TttE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. hi. 

The Caclioeii-a x^roper is a place where the river skirts a 
hill, or breaks through a range which projects into it rocks 
that cause rapids. Generall}^ it extends from one side to the 
other: its diminutive form is the "Camboinha," a *'Carreira," 
or a '' Corredor." The upper strata in the Rio das Velhas 
being mostty limestone, the obstruction is often a narrow^ wall 
of loose stuff (j^odras movedicas) through which a few Irish- 
men with picks would open a wa}" in twenty-four hours ; once 
opened, the water laden with sand and gravel would not allow 
it to close. Before this is attempted, I should advise, however, 
the use of the diving-bell, or helmet, in each deep pool (fundao) 
which precedes the break. These basins where the w^ater slackens 
(remansbs, pocos, aguas paradas), and which lie close above the 
rapids, are in fact huge flumes and cradles where the gold * 
and diamonds washed down to the river-bed will be found to 
have settled, whilst the rock-bars crossing the stream must pre- 
serve the deposited matter from being swept awa}- during the floods. 
In the Rio de Sao Francisco the Cachoeii'a is much more serious, 
because formed either of the hardest sandstone or of lumpy 
granite, whose crest numbers feet when here we have inches. 

The Cachoeira, like the '' Pongo," or "Mai Paso" of the 
Upper Amazon, is nearly alwaj^s found at the mouth of a tri- 
butary, a river, or a corrego or stream wdiich brings down mud, 
" creek-sand," and gravel. It causes inundations by arresting 
the flow, and these floods would be easily remedied, whilst the 
stream would not be injured by additional velocity. In rare 
places it may be necessary to canalize across a neck of ground, 
but the Brazil is not yet prepared for such expenses. t On the 
Rio das Velhas there are generally houses near the Cachoeiras, 
but, as a rule, in the dangerous parts the people know^ nothing of 
the river a league above or below their doors : they use canoes 
for fishing, crossing, and paying short visits, but they travel by 
the roads along the banks. + 

iug a stony reef. It is translated " Gur- Imt after an enormous expenditure of 

giilho " or "Pedragullio," coarse gravel. human labour, the floods came down and 

Castelnau (i. 424 and elsewhere) mentions the stream returned violently to its old 

upon the Tocantins River the "Eutaipava," course. At ju'esent the people cannot reach 

probably a peculiar way of spelling. the liottom of the bed, and coffer-dams, 

* Two attempts have been made to turn dragging machines, and diving bells are 

the bed of the Rio das Velhas ; one was equally unknoM-n to them. 
bcloAv Santa Lusia, and the other was above + Upon this subject I shall offer some 

Jaguara. The success was partial, the obsciwations in Chapter 15. 
precious metal was found in quantities, :}: In the Brazil, as in British India, 


The bad " Cachoeiras " on the Rio das Yelhas number ten, 
and all will require more or less work before a tug can be em- 
ployed upon the river. They are "wild rapids," Cachoeiras 
brabas (bravas), the others being ''meia braba " and"mansa," 
or tame. There is no rule for passing them. Sometimes the 
raft must cvee]} down the sides ; at other tunes the pilot must 
make for the apex of the triangle, whose base is up-stream, and 
whose arms are formed by jumping water. In many of the tide- 
rips there is a double broken line, containing a space smooth 
as oil, which shows the deep bed. The rock or snag, on the 
other hand, is known by the triangular ripple, with the base 
down stream. The paddles should be taken in, and the raft 
must be pointed down with poles (sobre vara) : if the men are 
lazy the}" will spare themselves this trouble, and they will pro- 
bably come to grief. Where the cui'rent is very rapid, it is 
advisable to diminish the pace by dropping down stern foremost.* 
'' Cordelling," stern foremost by a rope from the bows, is mostly 
confined to the tail-end of islands, where there is a gate in the 
rocks through which the raft that would otherwise be swept down 
by the current, must pass. Of course, the seasons make the 
greatest difference in the rapids ; f some of them which are 
formidable during the floods, are safe when the dries set in. 
Generally they are most dreaded in the winter weather, when 
I passed them : during the inundations between December and 
March, a small steamer might i)ass over many of them without 
knowing that they are there. The boatmen swim like ducks, 
despite which many are drowned. A stranger without a life- 
belt would have little chance of escape ; it is therefore advisable 
to prepare for accidents by attacldng dangerous i^laces eii 

water communication, wliicli sliould liave *' cle corrida. " 

been first undertaken, has been left to the f JM. Liais Avas on the Rio das Velhas 

last. I sliall have more to say upon this between April 10, 1862, and July 3, 1862. 

subject. His head pilot was one Clemeute Pereira 

* Commonly called (virar or descida) of Tabatinga, in the Vinculo do Mello. 

" de bunda," more prettily " de poppa;" Hence the names of the Cachoeiras, and 

opposed to the normal way " de bica " or other featiire.s, which are not all correct. 





echo do Rio que o trovao Simula, 
E lento »e prolong-a reboando, 

Domingos Jose Gongalves de Magalhaes. 

Friday, August 16, 1867. — After a week at Jaguara, I packed 
up 111}^ chattels b,y an effort of the will, and, accompanied to the 
*' Porto " b}' n\y kind hosts, embarked. We parted with many 
hopes to meet again, and with long wavings of the hat : present^ 
I fomid myself, once more, like Violante in the pantry — alone. 

M. Liais records in May from Jaguara downwards, a constant 
depth of two metres, and no danger of grounding except from care- 
lessness : this, however, was not my experience. Dm'ing the ten 
miles of to-day there was little to observe. We passed the bar of 
the Rio Jaboticatuba,* and we shot through a broken bridge and 
by a ferry raft with chain and pulle^', belonging to the Fazenda 
de Santa Anna of Sr. Antonio Martms de Almeida. After an- 
other bend we sighted on the left a square of white and brown 
houses with turreted entrance and private chapel. This place, 
the head-quarters of the Casa Branca estate, lies below a iDlantain- 
covered hill rising above the wild growth of the banks. The land 
is of rich limestone, with a wealth of water ; is rich in cotton and 
sugar, maize and rice, haricots and the castor-plant ; it breeds 
horses and mules, black cattle, and pigs ; and on the river's 
banks large granular gold in rusty quartz looking like iron is still 

'"■ The name is that of a fiuit, somewhat in the Serra do Cipo, and is navigable for 

like the common Jaboticaba (Eugenia CVui- the smallest craft to the Ribeiruo de Abaixo, 

liflora) ; }mt the tree is taller, the bark has distant some twelve leagues. Further down 

a diflerent appearance, and tlie berries do is the Corrego da Palma, whose bend, a 

not grow so low along the trunk. Canoes little below the mouth, is called the Roto da 

ascend the stream for five leagues ; it heads Palma. 


washed. The four square leagues may be bought for 300 : 000 S 000, 
or less. 

A small pai-tj' of Anglo-Americans met me on the bank and intro- 
duced me to the owner, Sr. Manoel Francisco (de Abreu Guima- 
raes). He was a fine, handsome, middle-aged man, Portuguese 
by bu-th ; about eighteen years ago he inherited half the estate of 
his uncle, Major Joao Lopes de Abreu. The manor house was 
in the normal style, fronted by a deep verandah, from which the 
owner can prospect the distillery, the mill, vdiose wheel informs 
us that sugar is the staple growth ; and the other offices. At the 
end of the verandah is the Chapel of N^ S^ do Carmo, with her 
escutcheon of three gilt stars upon a wooden shield pamted blue ; 
here there is chaunting on Sunday evenings. The Senzallas or 
negro quarters are, as usual, ground-floor lodgings within the 
square, which is generally provided with a tall central wooden 
cross and a raised wooden stage for drving sugar and maize ; the 
tenements are locked at night, and, in order to prevent disputes, 
the celibataires are separated from those of the married blacks. 
These Fazendas are isolated villages on a small scale. They 
supply the neighbom'hood with its simple wants, dry beef, pork, 
and lard, flom- of manioc and of maize,* sugar and spiiits, tobacco 
and oil; coarse cloth and cotton thread; cofi'ee, and various teas 
of Caparosa and orange-leaf. They import only iron to be turned 
into horse-shoes ; salt, wine, and beer, cigars, butter, porcelain, 
drugs, and other '' notions." There is generally a smithy, a 
carpenter's shed, a shoemaker's shop, a piggery, where during 
the last month the beasts are taken from the foulest food, and an 
ample poultry yard. 

The life of the planter is easily told. He rises at dawn, and his 

* ''Farinha deiMillio" sliould be steeped raspings were strained (tapety or tapiti, in 
(molhado) for 24 hours; the manipuktion French colonies "la Couleiivi'e ") is sup- 
is delicate, and especially the water must lie plied by placing palm-leaves above and 
flowing, or the floiu- turns sour, and ac- below the massa when in the press (prensa) ; 
quires a nauseous taste (farinha podre). It the sediment of the juice that comes from 
is then pounded (socado) in the stamps the mass is called tipioca (our tapioca), and 
(pilao) and sifted (penerado) ; the dough the liquid is thrown away. The Indians, 
(massa) is toasted by slow degrees, other- like the Dahomans, prepared a much roasted 
wise it will be injured, in large pans of and hard meal, which they called ouy-entan, 
tile stone or metal (Furnos de cobre, &c.) and the Portuguese know as "Farinha de 
fixed in masonry over the fire. Travellers guerra" (Prince IMax. i. 116). In the 
have used these articles for drying skins Brazilian forests there is a poisonous species 
and plants. This farinha is best when called mandioca brava ; in Europeans it 
eaten with milk. The people ignore the produces fatal vomitings, but the wild 
corn bread of the United States. In making people are said to eat it after keeping it 
manioc-farinha, the bag in which the raw for a day. 


slave-valet brings liim coffee and wash-hand basm with ewer, 
both of sohd silver.* After strolHng about the mill, which often 
begins work at 2 a.m., and riding over the estate to see that the 
hands are not idling, he returns between 9 and 11 with his famil}^, 
and if a bachelor with his head men, to breakfast. The sunny 
hours are passed either in a siesta, aided by a glass of English ale 
— there is often nothing English in it but the name — in reading 
the newspapers, or in receiving visits. The dinner is between 
3 P.M. and 4 p.m. — sometimes later ; it is invariably followed by 
coffee and tobacco. Often there is another relay of coffee before 
sitting down to tea, biscuits and butter or conserves, and the day 
ends with chat in some cool place. The monotony of this Vida 
de Trade — Friar's life — is broken by an occasional visit to a 
neighbour, or to the nearest country town. Almost all are excel- 
lent sportsmen, good riders, and ver}^ fond of shooting and 
fishing. They are also doctors, great at administering salsapa- 
rilla and other simples, and at prescribing diet. In Gardner's 
time Buchan's "Domestic Medicine," translated into Portu- 
guese, was the book ; now the Formulary of Chernoviz must 
have made a little fortune ; it is part of the furnitm'e, as was 
" Guillim " in the country-houses of our grandfathers. Homoeo- 
pathy f throughout the Brazil is in high favour, and generally 
preferred to the " old school " and the ''regular mode of practice." 
The choice is the result, I presume, of easy action upon the high 
nervous temperament of the race, and the chemist who deals in 
the similia sbnillhus, makes more money than his brother the 

We A\ill now visit the Engenho, or sugar-house, the simplest 
expression of a mill. In the more civilized establishments a 
light wheel works by a cogged axle, the two h'on or iron-banded 
cylinders placed horizontally. J The old three perpendicular 

* This is still the custom of Turkey, sake," Hahnemann said to him. He died 

Egjrpt, and Persia. On the Rio das Velhas I believe on the Red Sea, riding his favou- 

metal is preferred to the more frangible rite hobby-horse towards and for the benefit 

material; for everywhere in the Brazil of India. The " Institute Homeoijatico do 

negroes break -whatever they handle. Brasil " jniblished his "PraticaElementar," 

+ The establisher of homoeoimthy in the and it has reached several editions. 
Brazil, who corresponds with Dr. Samuel Ij: ''Engenho de ferro deitado," opposed 

Gregg in New England, was Dr. B. Mure, to the ancient system of upright cylinders 

a Frenchman, a most active and energetic called "Engenho de pan empe. " When 

proselytiser, who worked the press with not worked by a water-wheel, a long lever 

unwearied energy, "You and I are the is carried round the walk by cattle, 
only men who love homoeopathy for its own 


rollers are waxing obsolete ; and a hopper sometimes protects 
in these daj'S the slaves' hands from mutilation. There is 
an utter absence of Em-opean chemical science and of modern 
machinerj': the vacuum-pan, the " subsider," and the "steam 
evaporator," are equally unknown. Even the simple use of bone 
black and lime, to remove the albumen and the acetic acid of 
the sugar, have not been adopted. The ripe stalk should be 
ground as soon as cut : it is often piled in the yard for days, and 
the accidental rents m the outside skin, hacked b}' the awkward 
black, acidify the juice by admitting the au*. The caldo or 
garapa* is run right into the pans, which often are not thoroughl}' 
cleaned ; it is slowl}" boiled down in coppers exposed to atmo- 
spheric action, and the laziness of the boilerman prevents his 
skimming the juice with care. Hence, in this Land of the Cane, 
those who prefer loaf sugar must send for it to Europe.! 

The "American" party consisted of nine souls, including a 
wife and three young childi'en, white-headed, blue-eyed, red- 
cheeked rogues, always blessed with health, restlessness, and 
accidents ; they are extreme contrasts to the slow, dull, whity- 
browns of the land, and here the southern " cross " is uncom- 
monly strong. They had been Hving for some four weeks in a 
house assigned by the host, and during that time their united 

* The word is, I believe, ludian : it and the "caldo" crystallizes. It is then 

properly means Caouy, or wine of sugar- placed in vats (formas) whose bottoms, half 

cane, or wild honey : and it extends far. the breadth of the tops, are pierced with 

It is simply the fresh cane-juice, which holes, and are pro\'ided ^vdth bungs. These 

the people are fond of drinking after the troughs are covered with brick-clay, never 

Indian fashion, wanii ; to me it is much animal charcoal : when the molasses (me- 

more agreeable cold. Garapa is a favourite lado) has drained out, the sugar is dried in 

beverage with Tx-opeiros, and it stands on the open air, raked about by negro boys, 

the shelves of every Yenda, together with and allowed to become thoroughly imjiure. 

Capillaire and other mixtures. For cattle, Finally, it is stored in the sugar chamber 

and especially for horses, it is an admirable (Caixao de assucar). 

fattening food. For distillation the molasses from the 

+ The following is the rude system in troughs is led by channels (bicas) to a large 

this part of the Brazil. The canes are canoe-shaped wooden cistern (coche). It is 

gi'ound by the rollers, and the juice (caldo then mixed with the scum from the boilers, 

or garapa, the Spanish huarapo) flows into and reduced to about 11° Reaumur, in the 

the boiling coppers (caldeiras) : of these tank, for alcoholic fermentation (tanque de 

there are usually three, worked by a single azedar). It is then carried to the still 

negro. The trash (baga9o, in French ba- (alambique), an old-fashioned and rarely 

gasse) is still rich : it is good for animals, cleaned machine like a retort. This usually 

especially pigs, it would supply fuel for a receives three feeds (alambicadas) in the 

steam engine, and it is excellent manure, twelve hoiirs : work being rax-ely done at 

returning silex and saccharine matter to night. Finally the spirit is poured into a 

the soil. Now it is generally piled in a square wooden bin containing some 500 

heap and left to decay. From the coppers kegs : this "tanqiie de Restilo " when hoi- 

the juice passes to the cooler (resfriadeira), lowed out of a single log is called " Paiol." 
where feculences and impurities subside, 


*WencIa bill," food iiicliided, had been onl}^ 26 $000 — sa}^ 30/. 
per annum. A wonderful infirmity of purpose seemed to affect 
them ; the only reasonable cause of delay was a wish to try 
the effect of a rainy season before squatting in the new Alabama. 
Some liked the place, because it is above the difficult rapids, and 
it is connected by land and water with Sahara the market, a sine 
qua non here. Others abused it ; they held [it unfit for the 
plough, and objected to the Brazilian style of spontaneous pro- 
duction, where the land is uncleaned, where the only implement 
is a bill-hook at the end of a long handle used to lop off the 
sprouts of the young wood springing from undecayed roots, and 
where gathering is the only work and care. They naturally 
enough objected to plant in the same field cotton and corn, beans 
and Palma-Christi, the sole rude succedaneum for a rotation of 
crops now known in the Brazil. The best lands are here sold at 
15 $000 — 40 $000 per alqueire of 6 x 2 square acres, and large 
tracts may be purchased for much less. To work profitably, 
however, they requii'e stock and fifteen black hands — the latter at 
present a very expensive article, rangmg from 501. to 100?. The 
production per acre is of cleaned cotton, one bale of 500 lbs., worth 
a minimum of 200 $000 ; 40 bushels of corn fetch from 40 $000 to 
80 $000, and the same is the price of an equal quantity of beans 
and ricinus seed.* The acre also produces 100 lbs. of tobacco, 
worth 60 $000, and the price will be raised by proper treatment. 
Not being over-burdened with money, the colonists must rely 
mainly upon tune-purchases. I heard afterwards that they had 
bought a raft, and descended the river to Tralm-as. One of 
them, Mr. Davidson of Tennessee, volunteered to accompany me 
as adjutant-general ; I liked the man, and gave him a passage to 
the Rapids of Paulo Affonso. 

The host was a bachelor, and the evening of my arrival was 
ushered in by music and dancmg ; a "pagoda," however, not 
a "fandango," nor the peculiar Congo style of saltation known as 
the " batuque." t I could not enjoy it, the sun had been over- 
powerful, and the breeze had been too cool : my principal suffer- 
ings were from cramps in the fingers, here, apparently, a common 

* This mamona-oil sells at 1 $ 200 per tliis part of the Brazil, 
alqueire— nearly 8 imperial gallons. The f Not l)atucca, as it is written hy Prince 

Southerners are familiar with the plant, Max. 

hut they rarely hurn the oil, as is done in 


complaint. I had arrived on Frida}', but the host wouhl not 
give me leave to depart before Monday, and then, also, not till 
after breakfast. My raft was plentifully sui)plied by him with 
fine ''Restilo," or rather *' Lavado," whose exceeding strength 
provoked the wonder and admii'ation of the river. A single wine- 
glass of this spirit before turning-in, especially when the wind 
and rain rushed under the raft-awning, was a protection against 
ague. Thus, Peter Pindar : — 

" Would you, my friend, the power of death defy ? 
Pray keep your inside wet, your outside dry." 

I found also a six-months' provision of fine, white, clayed Papa- 
duras sugar bricks, 9x6x2 inches. Sr. Manoel Francisco 
accompanied me to the " Eliza," embraced me, and wished me 
the best of voyages ; I parted from him with regret. 

August 19. — After two hours we passed on the right bank the 
Paracatu influent,* a buttress of caverned rock ending a hill ; it 
was the fii'st of three picturesque clift's composed of calcareous 
blocks, tufted with trees, and separated by shallow green hollows. 
In front the distances were charmingly painted by the pink-blue 
ail* of the Brazilian spring, which lasted us twenty-three days 
longer, till we reached the Eio Pardo ; the gauzy, filmy sky 
blurred the outlines of the vegetation and rendered mirrory the 
surface of the stream. The timber was small, the tallest growths 
being the Jatoba and the Angico Acacia ; the most spreading was 
the Gamelleira or wild fig, that kindly gift of Nature, with dense, 
cool, dark-green foliage, and *' beard of wood"! garnishmg its 
widely-extending boughs. Clearings extended from the water to 
the hill-sides, making brown patches of dead vegetation ; and 
oranges and bananas showed where the dwelling places lurk. 
There was the usual beautiful variety of hue and foim, so attrac- 
tive to all wdio have an " eye for trees." The mauve Quaresma, 
the chrysoprase of the J^oung sugar, and the fan-shaped Arrow- 
cane (uba),t here 14 to 15 feet high, tasselHng the long, smooth 
reaches, and a hundred tints of leek-green, gold-green, dark- 
green, spinach-green, brown-green, pink-green, and red-green, 

* TLis must not he confounded with the pyra). 

Paracatu influent of the true Sao Francisco. + Barba de Pau or Tillandsia. 

The word thus written means good (catu) J " Uira " is also in Tuj)y a shaft or 

stream (para) ; others hold it to be a cor- aiTOW, and Uira9aba, a quiver, 
ruption of Pira-catu, good fish (pira or 


contrasted with the white flowerets of the Assa-peixe branco, with 
the silver-lined leaves of the Sloth-tree, and with the coppery 
foliage of the Copah3^ha.* Here rose a tall skeleton, blasted by 
lightning, or slain by the annual fires ; there a nude form enjoyed 
the disrobing of the dry season before assuming the impermeable 
of the rains ; there a panached palm rose bending and rustling 
in the wind. Now the trees shot boughs horizontally over the 
stream and curled up or put forth secondary branches towards 
the light; orchids were rare, but the llianas were as usual 
rampant, and pendulous birds'-nests occupied the best places. 
There half-cut trunks bent then* heads into the water, whilst 
others, inclining down the river in the teeth of the wind, showed 
the force of the floods. Masses of vegetation rolled bulging down 
the bank. "We especially remark the massive digitations of the 
Castor-plant, and the Taboca Cabelluda (hairy bamboo), a 
graceful, maidenly shape, but armed with angry thorns cockspur- 
shaped, and disposed in threes. The Hibiscus, 10 to 12 feet 
high, here known as the Mangui or Mangue,f will long attract 
the eye by its j^ellow cotton-like blossoms, b}' the 3'oung cordi- 
form leaves with velvety lustrous green, and by the dead infolia- 
tion washed with faint vermilion, looking from aftxr like spangles 
of red. 

Below Paracatu is the P090 feio, or " ugly well," where a rock 
projecting from the left bank caused the little whiids and regurgi- 
tations here called, from theii* shapes, " panellas de agua," or 
water-pipkins. Three hours carried us down to Pau de Cheu'o, I 
thus long had it taken to coast this part of our friend's grounds. 
The estate, belonging to half-a-dozen owners, is estimated at 200 
alqueires, and may, they told us, be bought for 8 to 10 contos of 
reis. A Californian who lately Adsited it, declared that he could 
make 2 $ 000 per diem by panning the gold which hes unworked 
in the banks. Then we came to the Lapa, the longest and tallest 
limestone blufl' on the river. This ''rupes prsecelsa sub auras" 
is broken into a thousand cracks and holes, whilst the cavern is 
fronted b}^ the most corpulent of stalactites. Here the Calcaire 
is based upon an iron-stone grit, which stains the banks with 

* The Copaliyba, also written Copaiva, Co- (Guaxuma) do Mangue (Hibiscus liernanilju- 

pauba (Copaifera officinalis, copaier, "ca- censis). 
pivi " tree) will l»e mentioned in Chap. C. X Literally " perfumed wood," a Lau- 

t Arruda calls this Malvacea Gruachnma rinea. 


iridescent water and rests upon sand, evidently the old bed. In 
many parts the slopes are frosted over with a curious incrustation, 
which lasted to the mouth of the Eio das Yelhas. The crew 
declared that it was the efflorescence of arsenical pyrites from 
Morro Velho. We dissolved it in boiling water, strained it 
through flannel, and made a hardish cake of uncrystallized 
matter like impure sugar ; the taste was that of alum and salt- 
petre. The latter, as in Kentucky, often overlies a whitish-yellow, 
arenaceous soil, whose pores act as strainers. The rest of the 
surface was a rich soil some six feet deep, or double what satisfies 
the farmer on the fertile Mississippi. 

Now the currents are becoming rapids, and the bed is studded 
with islets of calcareous stone, dangerous during half-flood. At 
the Porto da Palma* M. Dumont's navigation at j^i'esent ends. 
Four huts stand at the Bari'a de Pau Grosso, justh' so called 
from the huge timber of its banks. It is said to head near 
the Rotulo f estate, which was bought from a certain Marquez 
(P. N.) of Sahara by the English Company at Cocaes, who 
intended it to supply then- miners with provisions. The smwey 
of this Fazenda extended over a j'ear, and cost some 1400/. 
The overseer under the General Manager, Mr. J. Pennycook 
Brown, is a Mr. Broadliurst, whose father, together with a son- 
in-law, Manuel Simplicio, bought from Sr. Bonifacio Torres part 
of the estate called " Cana do Reino." Mr. Broadluu'st the 
elder brought out English machinery for carding, spinning, and 
weavmg cotton ; he was afterwards drowned in the Cipo Eiver, 
which runs out of a dip in the mountain. The same happened 
to two or three other Englishmen — an accident charitably attri- 
buted to the superior excellence of the rum. The Fazenda do 
Eotulo has fine red and black soils, based on limestones, and in 
two places saltpetre has been worked. It is to be sold for 
50 : 000 S 000, but it has the disadvantage of being far from water 
carriage. On the other hand, it is some six leagues long by two 
broad, and it would support a little settlement of forty families. 

At 5.10 p.:m. we idty came to anchor off a sand-bank, the Praia 
da Cancancao : t it is backed by land bare of grass, and a few huts 

* Or Porto das Palmas. wild men, -who were well acquainted ^vitl^ 

+ Rotulo means a roll or label ; it i.s and had given names to the medicinal 

generally corrupted to "Rochclo." growths of their forests, used this j^lant in 

J "Of the nettle " (Jatrophaurens). The local phlebotomy. They sM-itched with it 


are on the other side. We slept on board the ^' Coffin," and 
were pleasantly sminised to find no insects. The night was 
still as the grave, and at times curious sounds from water, earth, 
and air reminded me of those described by wanderers in the 
Amazonian forests — the work of some night-bird or beast, or fall 
of heavy fruit, or the plashing of hungry fish. At midnight, tall 
distinct pillars of white mist, silvered by the moon, formed a 
majestic colonnade slowly progressing down stream. At 4 a.m. 
the hot humid air of the Kiver Valley was clear ; before sunrise, 
however, a cold draught swept from the Serra Grande or do 
EspinhaQo on the east,* and condensed the vapour into a thick 
fog. During the day the breeze chops round to the north, 
forming a head- wind which refrigerates the surface stream ; the 
fish will bite at midnight but not at noon. The evenings are 
mild, serene, delightful. 

August 20. — We resolved to set out betimes, but the vapours 
kept us at anchor till long after sun-rise, and we had reckoned 
without (including) om* host. The country now assumes a type 
which will last. In the offing is a grass}^ table-land or ridge 
either with one or two distances, bristled with a few trees, and 
rising high above the avenue of bush and forest, through which 
the stream flows. After a couple of hours we paddled under a 
split bridge which had been carried away in 1858 : like that of 
Casa Branca it should have been raised at least 50 instead of 
32 feet (10.30 metres), a fair allowance for extraordinar}" floods. 
The site is, as usual, badly chosen ; instead of being divided into 
two a little lower down, it runs like a causeway right across a 
branch channel formed by inundations on the left bank. The 
original cost had been 2:800^000, and the lioles made for plant- 
ing the piers had yielded 4 : 400 $ 000 of gold. An engineer 
offered to repair it for 6007. — instead of 60/. — and the owner 
therefore prefers a raft. 

Just below it, to " larboard," is the pretty little village of 
Jequitiba ; t here is a lakelet draining into the main channel 

the part aftcctcd, and when sufficient iu- Mississippi. 

flannnation Avas produced, they made a + Or Grequitiha, a magnificent forest 

great number of incisions witli a stone or a tree (Couratari legalis, Mart. ; Pyxidaria 

knife, a style of cupping more barbarous macrocarpa, Schott. ). The colossus is often 

even than the African. 180 feet high, and its spreading shade 

■^ This corresponds with the south-east would slielter a small caravan. 
wind that blows at sunrise on the lower 


further down. Opposite we sighted the Fazenda do Jequitiba, a 
sugar estate belonging to Colonel, better known to the people 
as Ca2)itao Domingos Diniz Couto. It was impossible to pass 
liim, and the visit led to the expected result ; a room was shown, 
breakfast was ordered, and with difficulty I extracted a promise 
for dismissal on the next day — after the early meal. One cannot 
sympathise with the Northron's estimate of Brazilian hospitality. 
Besides the fact that the guest has obligations as well as the 
host, I always find in the Fazenda sufficient intelligence, espe- 
cially on local matters, to make up for lost time. At Jequitiba I 
was asked about the murder of the Baron yon der Decken; at 
Jaguara my name was shown to me in the " Eevue des Deux 
Mondes," a publication which, not havmg been salaried, persist- 
ently abuses the Brazil, and consoles the Brazilians by its gross 
ignorance of the subject which it maltreats.* 

Colonel Dommgos has a fine taste for good soil ; people wonder 
that he still works at adding acres to acres, but the process has 
now become part of his existence. He has some forty square 
leagues of land, and trayellmg down-stream for three daj^s we 
shall pass his estate. Besides this Fazenda he owns the Ponte 
Noya on the Barra de Jequitiba, about six miles distant, the 
Paiol with 100 head of negroes, the Bom Successo with 
upwards of 300, and the Laranjeii-as, He will sell any or all of 
them, and from 1 pair to 500 paii- of hands ; he begged me to 
pubhsh this sporting offer, wdiich I accordingly do. 

We spent a pleasant day, and were yisited by M. Bruno yon 
Sperling, a German engineer, married, and settled near Ouro 
Preto ; he is now suryeymg the Mello estate. A small Portu- 
guese landholder told me that he had heard of coal in the neigh- 
bourhood, but exact information was not to be obtained. As the 
Colonel was suffering from cataract he sent Sr. Antonio Justmo 
de Oliyeira, his Idnd and ciyil admmistrador, to show us his fine 
grounds. The place would be a Paradise with a steamer passing 
by it once a month. The gardens, sloping down to the stream, 
giye a pretty yiew of the little Arraial on the opposite side, with 
its chapel, backed by pink-blue hills in the far distance. The 
many acres were planted ^^'ith a few roses, cockscombs, and 

* I refer especially to the "Review's" rather travesties it; or it ignores facts, and 
articles upon the Brazilo-Paraguayan war. sliouhl seek information. 
Either it knows the truth, and conceals, or 


other flowers ; the fruit trees were mangos, figs, Avocado pears 
(Abacutis, Persea gratissima), and large Cuyetes or gourd trees 
(Crescentia Cujete) ; the rest was sugar* and bananas. There 
was a noble row of Jaboticabeiras (the well-known Eugenia cauli- 
fiora) with cupped or rounded summits, dense foliage, and 
smooth myrtaceous bark, ever^^iere studded along bole and 
bough with small yellow-white flower-tassels and young berries, 
little larger than a pin's head. In Sao Paulo the tree bears fruit 
only once a year in early summer, October and November : here 
it is continually productive. I had looked forward to the myrtle 
season as one does to the strawberries in England and the cher- 
ries in France ; the tree, however, is not found on the Lower Sao 
Francisco — a great disappointment. Its fruit is one of the most 
delicate, in size a little larger than the biggest gooseberry, with a 
tough coriaceous skin like that of the Brazilian grape. The 
flavour is lost when the Jaboticaba is brought to market ; the 
proper thing is to eat it off the trunk ; a tree may be hired at Sao 
Paulo for 10 $000 per annum, and " andar ii Jaboticaba " t en 
famille is a very pleasant picnic. 

August 21. — Having offered some parting advice to our host 
touching a visit to some ophthalmist at Eio de Janeiro, before 
couching became too late, we set out at 7 a.m., much condoled 
with. The river was beautiful ; its grassy bluff seemed to bar 
the course, and the irregular lay of the heights told us what was 
coming. At 1.40 p.m. our troubles began, they were to last for 
five days. Our awning nearly came to grief at a sharp volta or 
bend I a little below the Barra do Diamante. Twenty minutes 
afterwards we came to the Saco da Anta or d'Anta. The Saco 
or Reviravolta here corresponds wdtli the " Horseshoe bend " of 
the North American rivers ; the stream makes a sharp turn, at 
times running almost parallel with itself, and the land on its 
convexity becomes a quasi-peninsula with a narrow neck. 

* I have rarely seen finer KUgar-cane, I have lieard a " University man " and a 

certainly none in the Brazil. It is the Provincial Depnty call the Estrella da 

Cayana quality, and the stalks when Alva (the morning star) Estrera da Ai-\'a. 

ciit are 10 feet long by 1^ inch in dia- As has been said, many of the "Indians" 

meter. Such is the effect of the Ma9ai)e cannot articulate the I. Moreover, in 

soil. Tupy it is iiopularly asserted that /, r, 

f " To go to Jaboticaba." and I arc wanting. This, however, cer- 

X Usually i>ronounced in Minas and Sao tainly does not appear in the Lingoa Geral, 

Paulo "Yorta." The confusion of the r which ignores f?, /, Ii, I, and,-:, 
and I are as common as in China, and 


Here a grassy bluff on the right bank fends off and loops 
the stream ; the tall rock falls into the bed, throwing over a 
ridge which causes the water to break nearly right across ; the 
material is lamellar shale, porous, and full of holes ; it might 
easily be removed by a small steam-hammer. The current, as we 
can see, swings to the left, having a large sand-bank to the right, 
bends in the latter dkection under a tall bank and disappears ;* 
the com'se is from west to east. Chico Diniz went down in the 
tender carrying our damageable goods, and cut away some 
branches dangerous to the awning. We then floated along 
the bank to port under pole, and stern foremost, an occupation 
which cost us eight minutes, and the preparations for it half-an- 

After the " Tapir's bend" we at once came to the Funil — here, 
as in Sao Paulo, pronounced Funi. This name — entonnoii', or 
funnel — in land formations means a defile; on the Brazilian 
rivers it is usually applied to rapids breaking across the head of 
a long, straight reach that ends in a vanishing pomt. Here an 
eyot or sand-bank, covered with gravel and pebbles, bisected the 
upper entrance, and the course was from west to east. We 
bumped down the island's right side, hugging it to escape bad 
rocks on the river's bank to starboard ; then we poled over, 
alwaj'S a delicate oi)eration, to the proper left side, avoided the 
" brush," and made fast. Bag and box were sent down the left 
branch uxthe tender, wdiich ascertained that the rock-bed was now 
too much exposed for the raft. Perforce we again bumped across 
the stream below the heavy central break to the right bank, where 
canoes, plantains, and abut denoted the Fazenda do Funil. t 

At 5 P.M. we prej)ared our dormida (bivouac) on the Praia do 
Funil, a dry sand-bank to the left. The first step was building 
the hearth, and tliis did not take long, fuel being found every- 
w^here. I observed that, contrary to the African habit, my 
people preferred the small fire, which was the practice with the 
" Indians," who, to warm their naked bodies even in the wigwam, 
and to defend themselves against wild beasts, used to make then- 

* The total windings are south-south- five on the right and fom- on the left. This 

east, south-east, east, north-east, north, obstacle would severely try the engines of a 

and at last the general direction, north- tug going up-stream. 

west. M. Liais, who descended the Rio t ^M. Liais shows a clear way between 

das Velhas, where the river must have been the sand-bank on the left and three lumps 

somewhat fuller, shows nine detached rocks, of rock dotted along the right bed. 




[chap. IV. 

women keep wood burning all night.* Came Seca and fish, when 
any is caught, are skewered and planted by the blaze. The next 
operation is to make Angu, that almost universal dish ; porridge, 
hasty-pudding, stirabout, polenta, mush, and the ugali of Unyam- 
wezi. Fuba or maize meal is thrown Httle by little into boiling 
water and moved with a stick, or it will be lumpy : it should be 
eaten as soon as the whole is wetted, f The favourite national 
dish, feijao floatmg in lard,l is kept upon the fire all night so as 
to be ready for the dawn-breakfast. The men pass the evenmg 
chatting and smoking till ready for sleep, when they spread their 
mats and hide well in the smoke -drift, and no wonder that they 
so often suffer from Cadeira or lumbago. 

The air was delightfully pure, and I sat for some time hstening 
to the voice of an old friend. " Pst " — the blow — *' Whip-poor- 
Will." This Caprimulgus begins to be vocal with the crepus- 
cule, somewhat lilve certain owls, especially the Strix Aluco of 
Em'ope,§ and his loud and remarkable cry will extend, with 
certain intervals, all down the Rio de Sao Francisco. His man- 

* Like Africans, they used to light fires 
by the side of newly made graves, not to 
frighten away evil spirits or the devil (ac- 
cording to travellers), bnt for the per- 
sonal comfort of the defunct. 

t Another form is called Mingau (not 
Mingant, as Prince Max. i, 116) ; it is 
made of manioc, farinha in water, and 
sometimes with a little cinnamon. A third 
preparation is termed Cariman, derived from 
Caric to run, and Mani Manioc, ' ' running 
manioc. " In old authors we find " mingan " 
or "lonker," potage or thick "bouillie," 
made with salt, pepper, and manioc-meal. 
Yves d'Evreux mentions a Norman inter- 
preter named David Mingan. The Pirao is 
farinha mixed with hot water, or better 
still, with broth of fish or fowl ; it is a fa- 
voui'ite accompaniment with fish. 

Ij: Popular writers inform us that fatty 
and carbon-producing substances, so neces- 
sary to the inhabitants of the Arctic regions, 
lose their use as we approach the Equator, 
and are supplanted by fruits, rice, and 
similar light food. This is by no means 
the case. The Italian consumes a quantity 
of oil which would make an Englishman 
sick. The Hindu swallows at a meal nearly 
a tumbler full of Ghi or melted butter, and 
few, if any, Northrons can eat his greasy 
sweetmeats with impunity. The naked 
negro, panting near the Line, saturates his 
food with palm oil, and even at Bahia in 

the Brazil, where the " coloured cuss from 
Africay " is comfortably clothed, where he 
can buy meat in abundance and obtain any 
quantity of ardent spirits, the oily and 
spicy caruru and vatapa (j)alm-oil chop, &c. ) 
are eaten by all classes. Near the Equator, 
the damp heat has much the same efi'ect 
upon diet as the cold of high latitudes ; 
strong difi"usible stimulants, port, sheriy, 
and stout are better than thin claret and 
French wines, and meat is much more di- 
gestible than vegetables. Practice is worth 
all the theories or rather the hypotheses of 
pseudo -theorists, and the habit of one writer 
copying from the other without an attempt 
at independent inquiry traditionalises a 
variety of error. 

§ Prince Max. mentions sundry other 
Engoulevens. There is a larger species 
than the common Whip-poor-will, which 
Marcgraf calls Ibiyaou, and he (i. 267) 
Bacouraou. Another (described i. 370) is 
the Caprimulgus a^thereus, which soai-s 
high in the air like a bird of prey. A third 
is the Mandalua (C. grandis), white mixed 
with brown : and its sharp whistlings fill 
the forest. The German ornithologist de- 
scribed for the first time (iii. 91) the Cury- 
angu, a day-bird which flies during the 
light, and mixes with horses and black 
cattle in the ])asture ; and the Caprimulgus 
leucopterus (iii. 178), whose beak is like 
that of C. grandis. 


ners, as far as we observed, resemble those of tlie N. American 
species, and we often saw by day a pair nestling in the sand. 
The Portuguese call the bird '' John cut Wood," and it is a curious 
commentary upon the ''ding-dong" theory that one race hears 
" Pst— Whip-poor-Will " and the other " Joao CortaPau." By 
mentally repeating the words I could produce either sound, but 
the Latin version seems j^referable. 

August 22. — We were aroused at an early horn- by the Corvanoii 
or Curyangu (not Criango) bii'd (Caprimulgus diurnus, the Na- 
cunda of Azara), which seemed to say, " How well ye w^oke ! " 
This goat-sucker has a musk-colom-ed coat, with white spots and 
bars on the wings. I often disturbed a quiet pair nestlmg by day 
in the shade of rock crevices ; the flight was that of oui* night- 
jars, and it was always short and low. We set out at 6 a.m. 
somewhat prematurely, and the " smokes " obscm'ing the river- 
surface, nearly caused an accident ; a tree on the left bank, wliich 
could have been cut in ten minutes, drove us amongst the stones 
of a " rush." 

At 8 A.M. we shot the Saco do Barreiro (de Gado)* the Bend 
of the Salt-Lick (of Cattle). These places abound on the Eios 
das Velhas and de Sao Francisco ; the banks of red, grey, yellow, 
or dull brown clay are burrowed with lines of holes by the 
tongues of beasts and the beaks of bii'ds, which usually visit them 
in early morning. As in the United States, the lick is often 
saline only by name, and the practice must be compared with the 
earth-eating disease of Africans in the New World. In parts the 
breeders mix salt with the clay and tlu^ow it upon the stream-side 
to i)roduce an artificial glaisiere, but as a rule it is not considered 
sufficient to lay down salt, as the lick requii'es a peculiar sort 

* M. Liais calls it "Caclioeira do Pao eminently carnivorous, and thus they found 
Seco." Here the stream runs from south their salt in their meat. This of course 
to noi-th, and is faced by three low blue would not be the case with "vegetarians.' 
hills. We easily descended in four minutes, Earth eating is not unknowTi to the Bra- 
crossing from right to left, and thus avoid- zilians. I have shown that in Africa, as 
ing the breaks on both sides. amongst the Ottomac Indians, whom Hum- 
According to Azara (i. 55) the "Indians," boldt describes as intrepid geophagi,_ it 
who ignored the use of pure salt, supplied is eaten in large quantities without doing 
it by the saline "barro," which they de- injury. I cannot, therefore, with St. Hil., 
voured in abundance. Prince Max. remarks hold that the Ottomacs are the sole excep- 
(ii. 257) : " La glaise du Bresil n'a pas le tion to the fatality of geophagism. He de- 
gout salin, et je n'ai rencontre chez les habi- clares that the Brazilians prefer the clay of 
tans indigenes de ce pays aucun mets sale. " the termitaria ; this is also the case in 
A cui'ious commentary upon the supposed Unyamwezi, where it is called ' ' sw^eet 
necessity of the condiment. It must, how- earth." 
ever, be observed that the Tupys were 

E 2 


of clay. After two unimportant features,* we drew near the 
Maquine Rapids, which have a very had name. No one could 
explain the word ; our pilot " guessed " that it was that of a huge 
*' ki'aken " like the " worms " of '' strange dragons of vast magni- 
tude " which haunted England in the "good old" days. It is 
called the ''Maquine Pequena," to distinguish it from a creek lower 
down the river. 

The first symptom was a fragmentary ledge on hoth banks, 
dark friable lunestone tilted uj) at an angle of 40° ; this is called 
the Cabeceiras do Maquine. We made fast to the left bank near 
a fine cotton-field that runs up a gently sloping hill. Here we 
could look down the straight reach, some 400 yards long ; about 
600 feet of smooth water separate the Ui)per from the Lower 
Rapids, which are considered to be the worse. They are formed 
by the bluff end of a short range, whose general course is to the 
north-east, but which bends to the north-north-east, throwing the 
stream from its main direction to north-east 25°. The limestone 
base forms an oblique ridge from north-west to south-east, where 
the water breaks right across, and even at this season only one 
rock appeared well above the surface. The friable limestone, 
split and stratified, is easily broken with the hand ; before 
approaching the narrow wall there is a fundao or hollow at least 
ten feet deep, and thus nature would keep open the narrowest 

After reconnoitering, we embarked with the " trem " or lug- 
gage in the tender, which now drew 4 — 5 inches. Apparently 
there was a fair way on the right, but it is not shown in the Plan, 
and the pilots always prefer the left. We went to port of a 
^central rock-knob, and, safely crossmg the broken water, we 
made for the half-way house, a sand-bank on the starboard side 
fronting the smooth that divides the Rapids. Hence we watched 
the "great ole barque" take her lumbering way; after two or 
three chancy swings and half broachings-to she obeyed the pole, 
and came down gallantly.! 

Having rested till noon, we prepared to attack the Maquine 

The Cachoeiras das duas Barras and the smooth, come three detached rock- 
das Cabras. piers on the right, and ojjposite them a 
t M. Liais's plan shows a clear way in corresponding formation, but smaller and 
the midstream, and two main obstructions. more broken. In this section there are 
The upper break is of two blocks of stones, two stones, which must be removed from 
with the thalweg in the centre. Then after the thalweg. 


Abaixo or Lower Rapids. Fortunately, I left my books on board 
tlie ''Eliza." AVe went to the left, grounded on the rock ridge, 
which slants like the upper formation, and were whirled round 
against the trees ; I could save only my journals, somewhat 
like, to institute a modest and uninvidious comparison, Csesar, 
Camoens and Mad. Andre (de la Mediocrite). Reaching the left 
bank we viewed from the feathery shade of a charming Jatoba the 
doings of the ark. A second portage had been made, each occu- 
pying some two hours, and, thus relieved, she slid safely down in 
her usual playful elephantine way. But she was assisted by 
certain moradores of the neighbouring hamlet of Maquine Pe- 
queno, Jose Luiz de Oliveira, who, accompanied by his two 
cousins, stripped, and lent a hand in lifting the "Eliza" at a 
critical moment. They would take no reward, but a glass of our 
fine cohobated Lavado and a few cigars seemed to content them. 

After shooting this "Long Sault," the line, "barring" the 
easily avoided scatter of sunken rocks Q^edras mortas), should 
have been safe, but it was not so. M}^ men had worked well, 
but they had di-unk still better. They dashed upon a limestone 
rib near the left bank. They then bumped hea^dly and unneces- 
sarily in two places ; the tender was almost lost, and I felt by no 
means comfortable as we approached the Cachoeu-a da Onca. 
Probably from these adventitious circumstances, the Ounce Rapids 
have left with me a more unpleasant impression than all the other 
combined difficulties of the Rio das Yelhas. * 

After about two miles we turned to south-south-east and 
entered a gorge already gloomy at 4 p.m. " 'Sta gritando," it is 
crying ! said the men, giving anxious ear to the roar. Advancing 
swiftly for a few yards we saw the Cachoeii'a, breaking across with 
dangerous projecting rocks. We poled down the left side, and 
by opening too much to starboard we struck heavily upon the 
stones, and the water spouted up between the planl^s of the plat- 
form. Having escaped this shock, we crossed the stream to a 
smooth on the right and prospected it. The result was a stern- 

I went down entirely by the left ; tlie steam but by water power, 

stream, however, evidently runs at the * Yet the Plan shows only a stone pier, 

middle of the bed, and this, when opened, and two hard heads on the right, faced by 

will give a clear passage. In the Upper five scattered rocks which may easily be 

Maquine the detached rock or rocks must removed. The danger is from the detached 

be knocked away, and in the lower the wall stone upon which the current breaks im- 

must be pierced. It would, I think, be mediately below the upper " gate. " 
easy here to work a large hammer, not by 


presentation, and we slipped down in eight minutes, narrowly 
shaving to port a dark laminated stone, dij^ping 50°, which was 
angrily throwing off the waters, and upon which the current 

The crew was tired and out of condition ; I resolved to avoid, 
by an early halt, the risk of a bad accident. We found on the 
left, opposite a clump of five huts called Jatoba, a few j^ards of 
sand under a precipitous bank of yellow clay ; the men termed 
the place Praia da Cachoeira da On^a. The day had been 
wearying work, we had nearly boxed the compass. 

An angry mass of purple-brown cloud hung in the western sky; 
my men, hoping that the stream would be swollen, prayed for 
rain, which at this season sometimes lasts three or four daj^s. 
At night the view was suggestive. On our right was the ominous 
growl and the lurid flashing of the Ounce Rapid : from the left or 
down-stream came the rattling babble of the Coroa braba, the 
" Fierce Sandbar," whilst the sky was red with the last gleam of 
day, and flashed with the frequent prairie-fu^e.* In front flowed 
the stream, dark steely blue ; the further waters were scolloped 
with the black reflections of the trees, which rose high where the 
Little Bear should have been. 

And this desert stream will presently become a highway of 
nations, an artery suppl3dng the life-blood of commerce to the 
world. The sand-bank upon which we lay may be the landing- 
place of some wealthy town. The " Ounce Rapid " and the 
"Fierce Sandbar" will be silenced for ever. And the busy 
hum of man will deaden the only sounds which now fall upon our 
ears, the ba^dng of the Guara wolf, f and the tiny bark of 
the little brown bush rabbit. 

* St. Hil. (III. i. 202) declares that in mucli resembled the French wolf, except 

Western Minas cultivators fire the grass that the coat was redder. This carnivor 

only during the moon's wane (dans son de- especially favours the lands where forest 

cours). and prairie meet or mix. I have never 

t The word is G-u-^ra-a, a great eater, heard of its attacking man ; but, on the 

very voracious. **G" is the relative, other hand, there are no snows to make it 

"u" is to eat, and -ara (in Hindostani ravenous. 

" wala ") is the verbal desinence. Guara There is also a swamp -bird called Guara 

(an eater) is intensified by the post positive or Gara (an Ibis), a word derived from ig, 

a. The name is of the animal here called water, and ara, a parrot or parroquet : 

wild dog or Brazilian wolf (lobo), the old "water-parrot," from its fine pink-red 

Ursus carnivorus being very well calculated colour. 

to mislead ; the Aguara-guazu of Azara, As a desinence, guara means lord or 

and the Canis mexicanus of Cuvier. I have master ; e.g. pyguara, a guide, literally lord 

seen closely but a single specimen, which of the path or foot (py). 


We are taught to dwell far too much upon what has been ; 
upon the apxri, the proem, the first canto of the grand Epos of 
Humanity ; we are too indifferent about what is to be, in the days 
when the whole poem shall be unfolded. Rightly understood, 
there is nothing more interesting than travel in these New 
Worlds. They are emphatically the Lands of Promise, the *' ex- 
pression of the Infinite," and the scenes where the dead Past 
shall be buried in the presence of that nobler state to which we 
must now look in the far Futm'e. 




The day is placid in its going 

To a ling'ring sweetness bound, 
Like a river in its flowing — 


Before setting out it will be necessary to describe the *' Coroa"* 
feature, of which a neat specimen awaits us. 

The "crown" is the ''sand-bar" of North American rivers, 
an island in the stream, but very unhke our " holm," inch or 
Qjoi. It is mostty, as we have observed of the Cachoeira, 
at the mouth of some little stream where the influx of fresh water 
slackens the flow, and it is often built upon detached stones or 
upon rock-ridges. The current swings to either side, leaving in the 
centre a bald convexity like the shaven pole of a Coroado Indian, 
and of all sizes, from yards to acres. The water is shallow above 
it, deep below, on both flanks, and in the baylets and concavities 
where fish live to plunge and cattle to bask. When the formation 
is very low the drift wood floats over it ; otherwise, tree-trunks 
are mostly found at the sides, and snags must be feared, especi- 
ally about the head or up-stream. Often the Coroa is double, or 
even treble ; it is always elongated down stream by the current ; 
never circular as in lake formations, and the edges are either flat 
with the water, or stand up in dwarf precipices. 

The surface is pebbly and gravelly — of all sizes, from an inch 

* Pronounced C'roa ; it is the Latin to the latter Iby cui' praia ; with them Cua 

Corona, certainly not to be wintten with was the river plain (varzea) where liable to 

Prince Max. "Corroa." The feature is inundation, and '' Coara, " literally a hole, 

opposed to Praia, a *' sandbank, " attached was a little bay (enseada) or river port, 

to the side. The Tupys called the former where canoes can be made fast. 
Iby cui' 09U, "Coroa de Areia," opposed 


to a foot ; these scatters come from the banks, and are brought 
dowii by the floods. The material is mostly of quartz in its pro- 
tean forms, jasper, touchstone, pingas d'agua (Quartzum nobile), 
crystallized, stratified, and almost always red or rusty with iron. 
There is also an abundance of sandstone, limestone, and chlo- 
rite, wliich may or may not contain gold,* together with bits of 
" canga " or ferruginous conglomerate, the gift of the upper 
country. In places the sand is very loose, adixdtting the foot to 
the ankle. In the hollows where rain sinks there are large flakes 
of mud three to fom' inches dee^), and wherever the waters extend, 
the pebbles in the dry season show a coat of indm-ated slime, 
whose base may be either cascallio (rolled gravel), soft sand, 
or hard mud. These Coroas pure and simple are haunted by 
gulls and terns, hawks and kingfishers, ducks and herons, plovers, 
sandpipers, and other bkds which will be mentioned. 

A scattered vegetation of stunted trees and verdigris-coloured 
grasses and shi'ubs, forms, generally beginning with the end down 
stream, and thus the sand-bar becomes wooded. 

The t}^ical growth is the Ai'aga guava, with comparatively small 
tliin leaves, and an exaggerated strength of wood, self-adapted 
to its locality. Another common shrub is the Ai'iuda, also called 
" Alecrim da Coroa ; " the leafage is smaller than that of the 
Psidium, the stem and branches are as stout and tough, and it is 
bent down stream by the force of the inundations ; this plant also 
appears upon the sands. In places the water-sides are edged 
with a sedgy grass, whose blades average a finger and a half in 
breadth. It is used for stuffing pack-saddles. Uj)on the Pdo 
das Velhas we shall not find the osier-like and broom-like growths 
which we first observed in the Pdo de Sao Francisco below 

The sand-bar first forms under water, when it is called Ai^ao, 
or " big sand ; " it rises b}^ degrees, and where the annual floods 
are not too violent it presently becomes an " Illiota " or islet; a 
" Carapuca " if cap-shaped ; and if large, an " Ilha " or island. 
Many of them, like the Mississippi tow-head, are partly timbered, 
the wooded portion up-stream, the sandy below, or vice versa. 
The feature is then permanent, and the figs and mimosas bind the 

* From some, for instance the CorSa da gallinJia, gold has been taken ; the people dig 
deep into the sand. 


soil like the '^ cuttun woods " of the United States. Passing the Eio 
Pardo we shall see another complication, where blocks of blue 
limestone, thinly grown with sturdy shrubbery, cumber the sur- 
face, and lower down on the Sao Francisco, a combination of tall 
rock, timber, and sandflat. 

M. Liais advises these obstructions to be removed by " dragu- 
age." With diffidence I differ from him ; but would not the 
obstacles upon which they are formed themselves require drag- 
ging ? A single rock will, like a stick in the sandy desert, pro- 
duce an accumulation of matter ; the same causes continue 
to be in operation, and doubtless every flood would renew the 

August 23, 1867. — The warm morning tempted us again to set 
out at 6.30 A.M., half-an-hour too early. The course was from 
east to west, and we found our babbling friend the Coroa braba 
a complicated affaii' of stone and sand-bar. On the left was a 
rock, then gravel, then another rock ; to starboard rose the sand- 
bar, upon whose dexter side we lost no time in grounding 
heavily. We poled off with difficulty, and I did not like the 
look of things. Luckily we met a ragged youth, puntmg a dug- 
out towards the village, and, for a consideration, Herculano 
Teixeii^a de Queiroz was persuaded to accompany us. He 
landed, and presently returned a smart young waterman, in white 
shirt and pants, with straw hat, and the inevitable bone-handled 
sheath-knife strapped round his waist. 

After about three-quarters of an hour the "Eliza's" head was 
turned to the north-east, thus describing a long horse-shoe with a 
very narrow heel. In places the river is to the land route, 3:1, not 
an unusual ratio ; in others, 5:1. Before us rose the tall blue 
broken wall of the Serra do Baldim, the "Baldoino" of M. Liais, 
which bore north-east of Jaguara ; it is said to contain deposits of 
alum, like those which we found on the Sao Francisco. Half-an- 
hour afterwards we passed the Cachoeira dos Paulistas, whose ledge 
does not run right across ; the Plan makes it part of the " banks 
of Cafundo." * It became evident that the rapids were now waxing 
less laborious and far more dangerous, with deeper water and 

This is apparently Ca fundao — here stream, is a hard gravelly sand-bank flanked 

(is) a deep place — fundao — where the pole by two rock-piers, one above, the other 

does not reach. Near the right bank there below it. 
is a sand-bar ; on the left, and a little up- 


narrow cliannels, likely to jam the raft. We hugged the right 
point and then made the mid-stream, steering for the apex of a 
smooth equilateral triangle strongly defined by borders of foam 
or ripple broken against stocks or stones — here the usual guide to 
the clearway. 

Then came a complicated obstacle — a bold bluff of ferruginous 
stone to port deflected the steamer to starboard, almost from 
north-east to south-east. Avoiding two sand-bars and two rock 
ledges, we went to the right, and nearly romided the Coroa — 
going with the sun — from south-east via east and north-east to 
north-west. A couple of rock-piers in our way made us cross to 
the left, and bendmg to the north we found a break formed by 
detached lumps of limestone. This " Cachoeh-a da Barra do 
Engenho de Manuel da Paixao " was an affau* of eight minutes ; 
the deviations are risky, and, before a steamer can ply, the bed 
must be cleared of rocks, after which the current -will dispose of 
the sand and gravel. 

After ending some four miles, where a voice could be heard 
across the neck of the loop, we saw ahead fine cotton-fields m full 
bloom, and a tier-like succession of gently swelling hills in far 
perspective. A field of plantains on the left bank, and foiu' 
huts, of which at least one was a Venda, told us that, contrary 
to prophecy, we had reached S*^ Anna de Trahiras. This place 
is on the highway of the Tropas, travelKng between the Provin- 
cial Caj^ital and Diamantina ; * it became a parish in 1859, 
and it is now under the vast municipality of Curvello. In 1864 
the population was computed at 4298. I was told 12,000, which, 
as usual, doubles the i^robable number. 

Here were two ferries, one with a chain and belonging to a 
kind of company, the other with a civilised wke-rope, procm^ed 
from Morro Velho ; the latter was the property of Sr. Joao Gon- 
^alvez Moreira, to whom I had an introductory letter. He met 
us on the bank, and showed me a tree marked by the water ten to 
twelve jeavs ago, 40 feet above the present stream level. On this 
occasion the floods swept the riverine valley to the foot of the 
Campo hills, and people were taken by canoes out of their 
thatched roofs. In average years the inundation rises for a few 

* The distances are by land, 25 miles from Casa Branca, 6 leagues (by the river 
from Diamantina, 21 from Sabard, 24 fi'om 20) from Jequitiba, and 44 ^to our present 
Morro Yelho, 9^ leagues (24 by water) destination, " Bom Successo. " 


days to the ferry chain. If foreign railway engineers in the 
Brazil, which is everywhere subject more or less to these excep- 
tional deluges, recurring with a somewhat vague periodicity, had 
taken the advice of the natives, and had built their bridges and 
drains accordingly, they would have saved themselves much 
trouble and theii- employers more expense. 

We walked to the village on the right bank ; the ground was 
somewhat stony, pebbly and poor. It was rich in the low shrub 
with a leaf like the Mimosa, known to the Tupys as Tareroqui, 
to the Brazilians as Fidegoso (Cassia occidentalis, sericea, etc). 
The '' stinkard's " root is a powerful drastic, homoeopaths infuse 
it in spirits of wine and employ it as quinine ; the beans are 
sometimes made mto coffee, as maize is in the United States. 
The village main square on the highest ground has two chapels — 
Santa Anna and the Rosario, a few young i:>alms and some 
Vendas, especially the double store of Sr. Totto {i. e., Antonhico or 
Antonio) Rodrigues Lima, and the apothecary's shop of the 
Professor of Fu'st Letters, who, though his father was named 
Custodio Amancio, has preferred to term himself " Emmanuel 
Confucius of Zoroaster." 

The houses may number 200 or 300 within church-bell 
sound ; all are one-storied, and mostly of the meanest. The 
only thing that seems to flourish is the goat ; the " Cabrito " is 
here, unusually in Minas and Sao Paulo, favourite food. Our 
kind guide led us about to the several Prud'hommes, who 
invited us to pass the day. Sr. Antonio Gomez de Oliveii'a, a 
relation of Colonel Domingos, asked us to breakfast, and gave 
us some good English stout. His house was the neatest in the 
place, a long building fronted by a bit of shrubbery ; of course it 
contained a shop. 

Our temporary pilot had done work enough, and we sent to 
invite two others, but without the least chance of an answer for 
three days. Chico Diniz politely intimated his utter despair, 
and we returned to the ferry. Sr. Moreira enticed us to his 
home on the other side, and whilst he despatched a peremptory 
message, introduced us to his wife, and showed us the garden, in 
whose oranges and cabbages he took no little pride ; here the 
soil is an improvement upon that where the village lies. He 
spoke warmly, evidently not believing a word, about the coming 
Steam Navigation; to him the Cachoeii^as were insuperable, 


and when we spoke of cutting away the obstacles we talked mani- 
fest Greek. 

In 1853 a Government engineer had spent six months at 
the rapids above Trahiras ; the people remembered his fusees 
and mule-loads of tin cylinders for mine-charges ; all agreed, 
however, that he had not removed a single difficulty, and most men 
opined that he had left the place worse than when he found it. 
At last, worn out by delay, we bade a friendly au 7'evoir to our 
host, and we quitted Trahiras, satisfied that if the opening of 
the Ptio das Yelhas be abandoned to men who receive public pay, 
and to those who live upon passing mule-troops, the splendid 
stream will remain long closed. 

AVe set out shortly after noon, and the day was a succession of 
sand-bars and rapids, T\ith rocks on the right, on the left, and 
in the central thalweg.* The first serious feature was the 
Eibeirao da Onca, a rapid on the left of a triple '' Coroa ; " it is so 
called from a little green-set rivulet up which canoes go for several 
miles. Presently we came to a place where four men were loiter- 
ing ; we offered to pay for pilotage, but they refused. They did 
not object, however, to assist us in cordelling down the Cachoeu'a 
da Barra do Ribeirao dos Geraes, alias Cachoeira dos Geraes (do 
Lamego).f "Whilst they held the tow-rope we hugged the left 
bank, a di'op of loose sand ; the broken ledges of horizontally 
stratified dark stone project from the right shore above the 
rivulet-mouth, and deflect the stream to the left, thus doing 
engineer's work. J Above the rapids much gold has been dug. 

A couple of hours carried us down to the Cachoeii'a do Lagedo,§ 
a small rapid formed by a porpoise nose of wooded bluff on the 
right ; from its summit, they say, the Piedade of Sahara may be 
sighted. After sundry unimportant features,'! and passing the 

* It began with two bluffs of rock, floor- word to pastures, and says that " urates" 

ing the hill to our north. At the Corrego must be expressed when forests are meant, 

da Tabaquinha (the little Taboca, Taquara, I did not find this difference, nor did the 

or bamboo), a rock-outcrop from the left people ever emj)loy '' As Geraes " to mean 

bank intrudes upon and deepens the " As Minas Geraes. " 

stream. t In order to drive the stream to the 

+ The first name would mean the rapids left, M. Liais proposes a " tunage avec 

at the embouchui-e of the stream of the enrochment" on the right with a passage 

General Lands, an influent from the right. through it for the streamlet ; a gigantic 

Geraes are mostlj' lands out of the reach of work. 

the river, either Pasto, Campo or Mato, § In the Plan rocks are placed on the 

and bearing general produce, cotton, to- right bank ; in the description (p. 8) on 

bacco, cereals, as well as breeding cattle. the left. 

St. Hil. (I. ii. 99) confines the use of the || The Fazenda do Jardim belongs to the 


Coroa do Jardim, almost an islet, and to us a new spectacle, 
we anchored at the usual hour, shortly before 5'30 p.m., 
at the Praia da Ponte.* Below was a Coroa of the same 
name, which made music for us all night. Behind the hole- 
riddled bank were a few hovels with patches of sugar-cane 
growing poorly in rough, scrubby soil, good only for ticks. A 
few boors came up and stared at the menagerie ; they would 
neither eat with us nor take anything but fire for their 
cigarettes, and we were as formal as they were. I had been 
warned to treat them with " agrado e gravidade " — civility and 
gravit}^ — otherwise that they may become quarrelsome or lose 
resx^ect. They spoke of a pilot, and we sent for him ; but, as 
usual, he was ill. Two women bringing fowls for sale, squatted 
near us with feet wide aj^art like Africans, and chuckled their 
remarks to each other ; nothing could be less like certain Buffalo 
guds. At sunset all disappeared, touching then* hats in the 
deepest and gloomiest silence. 

I felt saddened by this contact with my kind. It was the 
Present in its baldest, most prosaic form ; the bright kaleido- 
scope of cultivated life here becomes the dullest affair of un- 
varying shape and changeless colour. There is no poverty, much 
less want ; nor is there competency, much less wealth. There is 
no purpose ; no progress, where progress might so easily be ; no 
collision of opinion amongst a people who are yet abundant in 
intelHgence. Existence is, in fact, a sort of Nihil Album, of 
which the black variety is Death. I prefer real, hearty barbarism 
to such torpid semi-civilization. 

August 24. — The cold night made the fog hang long over the 
water, and we did not set out till 7 a.m. Two Coroas, neither of 
them in the plan, gave us some trouble. Thence the river 
entered a gorge, each side alternately being high ground, 
— wooded above and stony below. Before the hour was finished 
we were at the Cachoeira das Violas ; t but, instead of going down 

widow of the Capitao Herculano ; a which does not appear in the Plan, 
streamlet comes in from the right bank, f Or, da Viola ; probably some one lost 
and below it there are two sand-bars : the his fiddle here. The stream runs north to 
first with a clear way to starboard, the south ; and the obstructions are two rock- 
second on the other side. Then came the walls from the right ; then one from the 
Saco de Pindahyba, where the river loops left, and lastly detached rocks on the right. 
to the south-west, and the llibeirao de I include this feature amongst the bad ones, 
Luiz Pereira on the left. as it has done much harm in its day. 
* A Ponte is the name of a corrego 


the mid-stream, we took tlie left to avoid driftwood, and we bmnped 
like the bucking of a mule. A charming reach, with beautiful 
woods, api)eared ahead, and the material of the latest clearings 
strewed the land ; here the direction of the limestone (?) is north- 
east, and the dip 12° — 15°. After sundry unimportant features* 
w^e left on the west a fine bit of land, the Fazenda do Boi, 
belonging to Sr. Delfino dos Santos Ferreira. The people 
crowded down the yellow bank to stare and to frighten us about 
the Cachoeu^a Grande, a place of which we had akeady heard 
ugly accounts. The dialogue was in this style : — 

" Do you know the Rapids ? " we inquired. 

*' We know them!" 

" WiU you pilot us ? " 

*' We will not pilot you ! " 

" For money ? " 

" Not for mone}" ! " 

*' And why?" 

" AVhy ? Because we are afraid of them ! " 

This was spoken as the juniors ran along the bank like ostriches 
or the natives of Ugogo ; they are begimiing to lose the use of 
their un-Latin ''yes" and "no," and to answer by re-echomg 
half youi' question — the true old Portuguese style. 

Shortly before noon we landed on the right side and examined 
a thick layer of Canga or pudding-stone, probably auriferous, 
and possibly diamantine. The almonds were dark, rusty quartz, 
in the usual ii'on clay paste, and from this pomt downwards we 
shall see large deposits of it. Further on, sandstone lay 
facing the south-east in nearly horizontal com^ses, ready for 
quarrj'ing. The men crossed to an orchard on the left bank, and 
brought back baskets of fruit and sugar-cane, which they tore 
and chewed like Botocudos. They sounded the horn, but as no 
one came they put off. Alas ! they had robbed the chm'ch ; the 
ground belonged to Padre Leonil, and worst of all, his oranges 

* As the general course of the river is Fazenda of the Sr. Nicolao de Almeida 

from north to south, I shall call the right Barbosa. We swang w-ith the stream to 

bank east, even when it is not, and so forth. the left, avoiding the thick shrubbery 

The obstacles here are a rock (os Pandeiros^ clothing the bank, and finding a clear way 

in the centre, which causes a break, and between it and the three detached rocks of 

allows passage on the left. Then to star- the Plan. Then a larger sand-bar than 

board enters the Ribeirao de Sao Pedro usual led to broken water, and sent us 

amongst rocks and sand-banks. Followed down by the right. 
the easv Cachoeira da Agua Doce near the 


were not worth eating.* This, however, is here a venial offence. 
You may freely take from a plantation — a Ro^a cannot be robbed, 
is the saying — but jou must not touch, for instance, a little plot 
of onions or other vegetables upon which the proprietor bestows 
pains, such as entering it at dawn. For the former are as 
ferae naturae ; the latter is a park or a poultry-yard. 

Luckily for us — the Cachoeira Grande was no joke — we found 
at the Saco Grande, on the right bank, a small crowd preparing 
for a " Samba," or to keep " Saint Saturday," and perhaps " Saint 
Monda}' " with dance and drink. The men carried guns in hand, 
and pistols and daggers mider their open jackets — evidences that 
they did not intend to be recruited. The women were in full dress 
— brilliant as rainbows — with blood-red flowers in the glossy crows- 
wing hair ; but of the dozen not one was fairly white. After a 
few words with Chico Diniz, the bow pole was taken by a certain 
*' Felicissimo Soares de Fonseca," the stem was occupied by a 
" yaller "-skinned elder with curly white beard, " Manuel Alves 
Pinto," and his son Joaquim. This looked like business. The 
new comers were men of few words ; they saluted us civilly, and 
they pushed off. 

The beginning of the end was the little Rapid of the Saco 
Grande or '' Big Bend," where the river bed turning sharply 
from south-east to north-west makes parallel reaches. To avoid 
the rock-pier on the left we floated stern foremost down along the 
right bank, here a mass of ferruginous sandstone, striking to the 
south-east and nearly plane (3° — 4°). After bringing the boat 
round, we left, on the right, two sand-bars and as many de- 
tached rocks ; upon the 02:)posite side also was a mass of blue 
stone, t which must not be approached. This elbow is too 
sharp for a tug-boat, and the obstructions absolutely require 

* Tliey were veiy like the Laranja da Hil. (i. 280) quotes PizaiTO, who enumerates 

TeiTa, the "indigenous orange," alias the three subvarieties, one sweet, another agro- 

imported orange nin Avald. The taste is a dolce, and a third very sour, and believes 

fade " mawkish " sweetness ending in an that the Lan.nja da terra is a retiu'n to the 

unpleasant bitter ; I have, however, seen primitive type of the sweet fruit. ' ' Per- 

the juice beneficially used in ptisane for sonne, " he says, " n'aurait probablement 

one of the severe catarrhs (constipacoes or song^ h, nommer un arbre qu'on aurait fait 

defluxos) which abound in Minas and Sao venir d'Europe, oranger indigene. " This ver- 

Paulo. I presume that, like the Laranja balargumentis worthless; many productions 

Secca or juiceless orange, the " bitter imported in ancient times are now called 

orange" is the effect of a high country, by the Brazilians " da terra. " 
rough soil, and other local conditions. St. f In parts of the Rio das Velhas it is 


Presently we turned to the east-south-east, and faced the 
dreaded Cachoeii*a Grande, which is formed by another sharp 
bend in the bed, winding to the north-east. The obstacles are 
six several flat ledge-like i:)rojections of dark stone on the right 
bank, and foiu' on the left, mostty awash, and cunning is required 
to spiral down between them. We began b}^ passing the port of 
No. 1, then we made straight for No. 2, to the left ; here, by 
23ushing furiously up-stream — had a stick broken we should have 
been nowhere — the " Eliza " was forced over to the right, was 
swung round by main force of arm, and was allowed to descend, 
well in hand, till within a few feet of No. 4, which rises right in 
front. Finally leaving this wrecker to starboard, we hit the 
usual triangle-head, with plenty of water breaking off both arms. 
A single bump upon a sunken boulder (pedra morta) was the only 
event. The descent occupied sixteen miimtes. The Great Eapid 
is more dangerous, but not so serious an impediment to naviga- 
tion as the "Maquine." Any form of ram would easil}' loiock 
off the heads of the rock-piers, and open a way in mid-stream — 
all that is wanted. 

After many congratulations our friends made a show of taking 
leave ; all had some important business, which proved on inquiry 
.to mean '' doing compliments." As the dangers were not over, 
the keg of Restilo was produced, it was tasted and pronounced 
*'muito brabo " (very hot in the mouth) ; the Ma-a-jor (myself) 
became so irresistible that all would accompany me to the Rio de 
Sao Francisco or — elsewhere, an^-^^here. The poles were twirled 
and wielded with a will. We left to port broken water and an 
ugly stone, a hogsback, known as the Ca^^ivara (H3^drochaerus), 
and then we crossed to scrape acquaintance with a sunken mass 
in front. This place is called the Eapadura ; it is a mere '^ cor- 
renteza," but the many " dead stones " would render it dangerous 
for a steamer. 

The end was the Cachoeh-a das Gallinhas,* to which we pre- 
sently came. We gave a wide berth to a rocky wall on the right 
bank, and stuck to the left side of the Coroa, till we had reached 
its tail down stream. Here is a narrow gate formed by two rock 

impossible, without testing the rock, to * M. Liais treats it as a matter of little 

determine "whether it be sand, clay, or moment ; we thought it quite the reverse, 

lime. and evidently so did the pilots. 



piers, projecting from the shores, and in suchphices " corclelling " 
is alwaj^s advisable. The men sprang into the water with loud 
cries of ''He Eapasiada,"* and pulled at the hawser till the cur- 
rent had put us in proper position ; they then cast off and sprang 
on board before we could make much way. "We left to starboard 
two blocks and one smiken rock of fine blue limestone, brushmg 
them as we ]Dassed. The " Rapid of the Hens " occupied us 
nine minutes, chiefly spent in shouting. The right channel may 
easily be cleaned : a mass of drift wood is all that obstructs 
the left, and knocking away the rock walls w^ould soon start 
the " Coroa." 

A second dram of the ''wild stuff," and all our friends in need 
ruled. Thej^ blessed us fervently but stammeringiy : theypraj-ed 
for us somewhat the "vvrong way, and they unintelligibly invoked 
for us the protection, of the Virgin and all the saints. They 
landed with abundant tripping and stumbling, carrying 1^000 
and a bottle of the much prized restilo. I had ever}^ reason to 
be grateful to them, for they had most civilly saved me an 
immense amount of trouble ; but, shortly afterwards, reports of 
certain " little deaths " in which they had been actively con- 
cerned, showed that they were not exactly lambs, except after the 
fashion of Nottingham. 

By this time my men were "pretty well dead beat." I 
anchored a little above the Barra da Cerquinha,t oj)posite the 
Corrego do Paiol. The ground was sandy and unusually clean, 
w^hilst the valley soil, apparently arenaceous only, j)roduced 
cotton in quantities. To-day the river, except where disturbed 
by rapids, has been a vista of beautiful amenit3\ Mr. David- 
son was in ecstacies, and began to talk of the Yazoo and to sing 
something about "Down the O-hi'-o ! *' The grandly moving 
stream, hardl}' broad enough to suffer from winds, is not too 
narrow for vessels to thread their way up, while steamers could 
easily turn in the fine reaches. At nightfall the sugar- wheel of 
the "Paiol"! creaked and sang in curious contrast with 
the accompaniment of nature ; the distant hum and the nearer 

* " Now, my lads ! " even mm are stored. This Paiol has been 

+ The "Embouchure of the small hedge mentioned as one of the estates belonging 

or paling (stream) ;" it is not named in the to Colonel Domingos. I afterwards visited 

Plan. it ; the soil is fine, the water abundant, 

X Properly a "bread-room," but often and there is a large house, with the usual 

applied to places where coffee, sugar, and chapel and sugar mill. 


cries of birds and beasts, frogs and toads,* and a noisy liltle 
rapid fretting and snorting down stream. 

We were now approaching a place of rest, and I contemplated 
with satisfaction a fortnight of land-march, even on mules. Eapids 
resemble in one point earthquakes — the more you see of them the 
less you like them, and the stranger at first is disposed to look 
contemptuously upon the i3rudence and precaution of the " old 
soldier." Shortly after dawn we went do^^^i the small but ugly 
Cachoeira da Cerquinha, between a bad rock on the right and a 
stone ridge on the left, to which we mclined. It was followed by 
another little break. 

After two hom's' work we turned fi"om the main stream up the 
Corrego do Bom Successo. Here we made fast the ''Ajojo," 
and the crew agreed to keep guard in it at night. As a rule the 
riverines avoid sleeping in these places between the days of the 
new^ year and of the St. John. The waters bring down much 
earthy, decomposed matter : it is easy to smell the difference 
of the branches and of the main line, and especially during the 
Vasantes, or annual retreat of the waters ; the}^ dread the danger- 
ous marsh fevers, remittent and intermittent, called the Maletas. 
At Jaguara I had been warned that the Rio das Vellias below 
Bom Successo required certain precautions, such as to eat much 
pepper, to avoid the cold night damp after the day heats, not to 
wash or bathe when perspiring, and not to drink coffee in the 
open au\t I could not, however, be troubled with so much 
" coddling," and we both found the climate perfectly healthy. 

After making the necessary arrangements we walked up to the 
Manor House ; the aii* was crisp and dry, and the soil gravelly 
but rich. The stunted Cashevv everywhere grew^ wild, and there 
was an abundance of the Jaboticabeira myrtle, justly called cau- 
liflora, the aspect of the dark leafage being exactly that of an 
enormous cauliflower. The other fruits were the Mango, Plan- 
tains in a fine patch on tlie hill to the left : the Gabiroba { and 

* Humboldt, on tlie Orinoco, heard by Paulistas, even in tbe healthiest part of the 

night the sounds of the sloth, the monkey, Province, refuse coffee out of doors. 
and the day -bird. This is not the case J In the System, " Gruaviroba " is the 

here, at any rate at this season. name of sundry Eugenias. The Tupy Diet. 

+ The two latter somewhat whimsical \\Tites the word Gruabiraba. St. Hil. (III. 

precautions are general on the Sao Francisco ii. 270) tells us that the small species of 

River, where the iieople, seeing an old Psidium "a bales arrondies " are called 

hydropathist bathe in a state of violent Grabiroba, opposed to Araga, those with 

persi^iration, quietly remarked, " You are pear-shaped fruits. I believe this to be 

calling upon Death ! " I have often known correct. 

F •_> 


the Araticum,* of which all are so fond. At the tall gate we found 
a fine fig-tree planted onl}^ fourteen years ago. The garden to 
the north-east of the house contains vines, as usual trained to 
lath tunnels ; here Bacchus a2:>parently refuses to live without 
support. The flowers were, as usual, few. The Brazil has many 
more of the wild than the tame. 

I remarked the pretty white Beijo de Frade, or Friar's Kiss, 
and the Poinsettia hracts, brilliant as the " flame tree," and 
generally known as Papagaio, the parrot. There is also a 
graceful tobacco (N. ruralis or Langsdorffii), wdth thin leaves 
and pink flower : it is, I believe, the " Aromatic Brazilian," 
much admired in the United States, and there found to lose its 
aroma after the second year. The Tropeiros learned from the 
Indians, who used it for smoldng, and in medicine, to clean with 
its infusion their mules of the Berne-maggots. The traveller will 
do w^ell to remember that a leaf rubbed over his hands and face 
will compel the greediest mosquitos to buzz harmlessly about 
him. According to the System this Nicotiana grows spontane- 
ously, and is a Brazilian indigen, local as the Missouri variety : 
I have always found it a companion of man, and flourishing un- 
planted about the houses and villages. The Coqueiro palms 
were peculiarly fine, although here as elsewhere the reticulum 
pendent about the throat, a kind of vegetable goitre, is never 
removed. The Jenipapeiro f (Genipa americana, L. ; Jenipa bra- 
siliensis), whose fruit is compared by strangers with the medlar, 
but which appears to me even more nauseous, is a noble tree ; its 
fine white flowers had ah'eady fallen. Wheat will grow at Bom 
Success©, but it is subject to rust, and the flour, which is made 
into bread, is of a dirty-brown tmge. 

I introduced myself to Dr. Alexandi'e Severo Soarez Diniz, 
nephew and son-in-law of Colonel Domingos ; his family occupied 
the Sitio, now the Fazenda of Andrequeice, mentioned in 1801 
by Dr. Couto. There is nothing to describe in the establish- 

* Also written Araticu, and pronounced kno%vn to the " Indians, " who painted their 

"Articum." The name is given to many bodies with its juice, yielding a dark 

Anonacese (A. muricata, A. spinescens, &c. ). blue dye. The fruit is called Jenipapo, 

Thus the fruits are distinguished from the Jenipabo, or Genipapo. Such is the gene- 

Anona squamosa, the custard apple of India, ral rule in Portuguese, as Caju, the Cashew- 

here called pinha, fructa do Conde, and at apple : Cajueiro, the Cashew-apple-tree. 

llio de Janeiro by its Hindostani name, At times, however, the former is used by 

Atta (for Ata). synecdoche, as grammarians call it, for the 

t This is the tree, Ic Grenipayer, well latter. 


meiit, which was the Casa Branca on a large scale. Here, for the 
first time, Friday appeared honoiu'ed by fish and eggs. After 
meals all stood up with clasped hands and prayed, ending with 
crossing themselves. As is the custom of old Mmas, the slaves 
in waiting did the same. I do not know why St. Hilah'e was so 
much scandalised by the anticipatory process. Durmg the evenmg 
the household and the field-hands sang a long, loud hymn, and 
recited the " Christian Doctrme." On Sunday the prayers were 
more elaborate. 

At Bom Successo, until fom' 3'ears ago, globules of free 
quicksilver were found adhermg to the cross-battens of the 
'' bica " or race of raised troughs which feeds the overshot 
wheel. Several bottles were filled, when suddenly the jield 
stopped. Mercury is reported to have been discovered on the 
Jequitinhonha River, and in other parts of the Mmas Province ; 
but a suspicion arose that it came from ancient gold washings. 
Here, hovrever, all agreed that this could not be the case ; we 
therefore resolved to inspect the formation. We followed the 
com'se of the Rego or leat which supplies the race. These 
water channels, sometimes 12 — 13 feet dee^), are of vital import- 
ance to an estate, and are levelled by the eye, like the Kariz of 
Belochistan, to great distances. An Irish ditcher, if he could be 
kept sober, would soon make his fortune. The banks were green 
with grama (Triticum repens) pricking up from between the 
stones ; the Herva do Biclio,* held sovereign for headaches ; the 
bamboos were the Taboca de Liceo, and the Cambahuba, which 
resembles the tasselled Criciuma. These gigantic reeds fatten 
cattle well, but it is beheved that the food aftects the \sind of 
horses and nudes. We were on the left of the Bom Successo 
stream, which heads three leagues to the north-east, and in it we 
found argillaceous shale, unelastic sandstone, slaty, talcose, and 
laminated,! fine blue limestone in bits and boulders, and quartz 
of many colours — white and j-ellow, rusty and black, and especially 
black and white — passing into one another. In the small creeks 
feeding this main Hne scattered fragments of cinnabar apjoeared, 
and a bit about the size of a nut was fomid in the leat. 

* This well-known term is usually ap- " largo. " 

plied to tlie Polygonum anti-liEemorrhoidale, f In fact, diamantine Itacolumite. There 

the Tupy "Cataia" or "Cataya." This are several diamond diggings about Bom 

Polygonea supiDlies a bitter peppery decoc- Successo. 
tion, used to cure the disease kno^ii as 


After about four miles we reached the dam at the head of the 
leat; here stakes were bent down-stream, and weighted with 
stones, so that the floods might pass over them with as little 
damage as possible. Evidently the metal came from below this 
point ; if not, it would have been deposited beyond the possibility 
of being w^ashed down, in the deep water above the weir. We 
therefore thought it probable that, as has happened in Spain and 
Austria, in Peru and California, the w^ater or the pick had struck 
the gangue of native mercury, and had set free the disse- 
minated globules. The deposit in the earthy w^ater would be 
washed out and exhausted, and thus the ore would not appear 
until another cavity may be laid bare. 

Intending to visit Diamantina city, I had engaged at Jaguara 
an old Camarada and employe of Casa Branca, named Francisco 
Ferreira. He had preceded me for eight days, acting as guide to 
Trooper Manuel and to the four mules obligingly sent for my use 
by Mr. Gordon of Morro Velho. Matters did not look pleasant; 
the *' talkeej' " elder reported with a hiccup and a stagger, that it 
w^as " aw right ; " and landsmen and watermen at once engaged in 
a general "drunk." It w^as in vain to take away the keg; in 
these Fazendas liquor is always to be had gratis. Mr. Davidson's 
health did not allow him to accompany me ; and my three Calibans 
— Agostinho was to act page-cuisinier — w^ould, without the 
strictest supervision, be in a normal state of disguise. 

On the other hand my old longing for the pleasures of life in 
the backwoods — for solitude — was strong upon me as in Bube-land. 
I sighed unamiably to be again out of the reach of my kind, so to 
speak — once more to meet Nature face to face. This food of the 
soul, as the Arabs call it, or diet of the spirit, as Vauverna- 
gens preferred — has been the subject of fine sayings, from the 
days of Scipio to those of J. G. Zimmermann ; it is the true 
antidote to one's entourage, to the damaging effects of one's 
epoch and one's race ; it is hke absence, wdiich, says the proverb, 
extinguishes the little "passions " and inflames the great; from 
those who think mth others it takes all powder of thought, but the 
" totus quis " comes out in it, and it largely gives to him who 
wishes to think for himself. " Homo solus aut deus aut daemon," 
is almost half true ; Yse soli ! is evidently professional, and 
" O Solitude, where are thy charms ? " is a poetical study. 

How unliappy is the traveller who, like St. Hilaire, is ever 


bemoaning the want of " society," of conversation, and who, "re- 
duced to the society of his plants," consoles himself only by 
hoping to seethe end of his journey ! " Une monotonie sans egale, 
une solitude profonde ; rien qui put me distraire un instant de 
mon ennui." This, too, from a naturalist, '' * * * Je finis par 
me desesperer a force d'ennui, et je ne pus m'empecher de mau- 
dire les voj^ages." One understands the portrait which he draws 
of himself, veiled, with parasol to ward off the sun, and a twig to 
smtch away ticks. It suggests a scientific Mr. Ledbury. 




Haec Boreas . . . 

Pulvereamque traJiens per summa cacumina pallam> 
Verrit humum, pavidamque metu, calig-ine tectus, 
Orithyian amans fulvis amplectitur alls. 

Ovid, Met. vi. 

I SECURED a sober start from Bom Successo by sending 
forward my Calibans to bivouac at a j)lace be3"ond the reach of 
liquor, and I followed them on the morning of Tuesday, August 27, 

The cold windy night had hung the north with heavy blue 
fleece-pack, outlying an arch of lighter and more scattered 

Itinerary from Bom Successo to Sao Joao via Diamantina (approximately). 

1. Bom Successo to Bura 



,, to Paraliua R. 


,, to Riacho do Yento 


, to Contagem 


, to Camillinlio 


, to Gfouvea 


, to Bandeirinha 


,, to Diamantina City 


,, to S. Joao Mine 














9 [ 



1st day, 

23 miles. 

2nd day, 
28 miles. 

3rd day, 

24 miles. 
(Generally held 

to be 10. 

93 miles. 

The Guides reckon ten leagues or forty miles between Bom Successo and Camillinho. 
They place Diamantina sixteen leagues (foi-ty-eight miles) from the Rio das Velhas, and 
half that distance from the highest navigable point on the Parauna River. From Band- 
eirinha to the Datas Mines they lay down three leagues, and I rode from the Sao Joao 
Mine to Bandeirinha (twenty miles) in four hours thirty minutes. 

Diamantina is usually held to be fifty-six leagues (224 miles) from the Provincial 
Capital, a distance which greatly requires shortening. The Mine of Sao Joao is placed at 
thirty-two leagues (128 miles) fi-om the Villa de Guacuhy, at the mouth of the Rio das 
Yell I as. 


vapour — signs of galey weather. Whilst the wind blows from 

the north or east we shall find the road dusty, not muddy ; vice 

versa, if it shift to south. Here the rains open in early October, 

either with or without thunder-storms (trovoadas) ; if the 15th be 

still dry, people fear for their crops. The grass-burnmgs (quei- 

madas), began about 9th — 10th August, and will last through 

Sej^tember : the patches are fh-ed in alternate j-eai's, so that 

forage may never be w^anting, and we shall sometimes see half a 

dozen blazings in different directions. The custom is old and 


to fell the virgin wood, 

To fire the second growths while young- they grow, 
To feed with fattening ashes all the field, 
The grain in holes to hide." 

There is no doubt of the real injmy, independent of the loss in 
timber, which such romantic and picturesque practice entails 
upon the woodlands. It must greatly affect the vegetation, and 
kill out all but the strongest species. In these rugged Campos, 
however, there is less to say against it ; the grass sprouts at once, 
and the potash is believed to be wholesome for cattle. 

I fell at once into the Caminho do Campo, the western high 
road to Diamantina City, on the occidental sldi't of the Serra 
Grande or do Espinhaco. It is separated by an interval of ten 
to twenty leagues from the Caminho do Mato Dentro, on the 
eastern flank, and via the Serra da Laj)a : this latter is the 
shorter, the more trodden, and the better, but still very bad ; and 
both are equall}^ detestable during the rains. 

The path runs over the crests and round the flanks of familiar 
Campos gTound, whose surface is sandy, gravell}-, or j)ebbly, with 
scatters of loose stones, bearing stunted vegetation, Cerrados, 
Capoes t ^nd " Matas," or dwarf woods, clear of underwood, like 
the charmmg forests of France. The gTound, strewed by the 
fierce north winds with dry leaves, was over-rich in ticks. Water 
gushes ever3'where from a white or red clay, now compact, then 
a silty dust ; and the vile bridges are logs loosely laid over a 

* ... demibai- os virgens mates ; ated by two miles, the Capao das Moendas 

Queimar as Capoeiras ainda novas ; (of the IVIills), to which it siippHes hard 

Sei-vir de adixbo a terra a fertil cinza wood, and do Padre (Antonio). Both are 

Lan9ar os gi-aos nas covas. near waters flowing to the Bom Successo 

(Gronzaga, LjTas, part 1, 26\ and thence to the Rio das Velhas. The 

usual desvios mark the worst places. 
+ There are two principal Capoes, separ- 

74 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BllAZlL. [chap. vi. 

pair of sleepers. There is very little of human life in view ; on 
the left is the " Rissacada," * a Retiro, or shooting box, con- 
sisting of a few i^oov huts, belonging to Colonel Domingos, and 
after an hour's sharp riding I reached a similar place, the Retiro 
do Bura — of the Bura bee. Here my Calibans and animals had 
passed the night, and I was most civilly received by the honest, 
burly feitor, Sr. Paulino. 

The inevitable coffee duty drunk, we pushed on merrily over 
broken ground at the foot of the hills, thick with copse, and 
showing green grass sprouting from the ashes of the dead. 
Where clearing was in process, the people worked off the reed- 
like vegetation with a bill-hook at the end of a long handle. 
Crossing the limpid streams,! and passing the Tapera (da Maria) 
do Nascimento, the ex-home of a defunct widows w^here the 
vultures were enjoying a dead bullock, we reached the Serra do 
Bura, which divides the basins of the Bom Successo and the 
Paraima t streams. Up this buttress, which is partly grassy, 
and partly white and ston}', with boulders of blue limestone 
striking south, there are two steep windings divided b}^ a step or 

From the summit we have a perfect command of the country 
around us. We see in front the tall blue wall through which the 
Parauna breaks : in places the summit appears level, in others 
there is a feature locally known as Tapinhoacanga, § or Nigger- 
head, a porcupine-like lump, with out-cropping ledges of dark 
bare rock. Behind us the Campos roll as usual in flattened 
waves to the blue horizon, a smooth ring except where fretted 
with some solitary peak or notch of darker hue which suggests 
the Koranic " W'al Jibalu autadan," — a peg to pin down earth. 
Everywhere in the Brazil the idea of immensity suggests itself, 
and nowhere more than on the Campos. 

Beyond the Bura Crest begins a yellow descent, rough with 
gravel, soft laminated clay-slate, and porous iron-stone, like slag 

* Translated "Bosq\;e." In the die- § St. Hil. (III. ii. 103) derives the word 

tionaries Ressaca or llesaca is the Fi'ench from Tai^anhuna, which he says in the 

ressac, the back drag of the tide. Lingoa Geral means black ; the latter, how- 

+ The first is the Corrego da Eissacada, ever, is Pixuna, Pituna contracted to Una. 

which at times swells and is dangerous ; The dictionaries give Ab^ (man) tapyy"!!- 

the second, an unimportant feature, is htna or tapyyiuna contracted to Tapan- 

known as the Correginho — the streamlet. huna or Tapanho, meaning a negro, and 

X The Blackwater River, from "Para" " acanga, " a head, 
and " \ina. " 


orlaterite. Tliis leads to the " Cerradao/' a taboleiro or plateau, 
about four miles in length ; at iii'st something sterile, but pre- 
sently becoming a rich red soil with fair vegetation. The grass 
is the Capim-Assu, whose grain, often compared with rice, 
keeps cattle always fat, and amongst the dwarf woods are Pahns 
in abundance, the Licorim, delicate, with ragged leaves,* the 
Indaia,t and the Coqueiiinho do Campo, which rises but little 
above the ground. The plateau ends at the Ollios de Agua, 
where a few huts gather near a Corrego that supplies pure water. 
Below us, to the right, lies the Parauna, a dull dark (turvo) 
stream, running in snowy sand, vdih banks of white clay. 

After three hoiu's we reached the wretched little Aldea de 
Parauna, on the left bank of its river. It has a smgie straggling 
street of some seventy mud hovels, including one large open 
Rancho and eight Vendas : most of the tenements are tiled, few 
are whitewashed, and many are in ruins. On the right bank are 
six huts and a tilery. Tliis old Indian settlement was once rich 
in gold, it flourished in the days of the '' Diamantine Demarca- 
tion," which here began : in 1801 it was an Arraial, with most of 
its houses shut or fallen, and tenanted by a guard to prevent 
precious stones bemg smuggled. It lives now upon its excel- 
lent-stapled cotton, which fetches 2g500 to 2§800 per arroba, 
and by supplying travellers. The people are famous for their 
churlishness, possibly the effect of the moody Indian blood, and 
a cmious contrast to those further on. As we found no civility 
at the house of a Caboclo shopkeeper, by name Sr. Totto, we 
rode up-stream to the Httle Fazenda do Brejo, an Engenhoca 
(small sugar-house) belonging to Manuel Eibeiro dos Santos, 
better known as " Manuel do Brejo," Emmanuel of the IMarsh. 
When unable to visit it, I heard of a place called the Brejinho, 
where there is a salt stream that might be utilized. 

The Parauna, whose mouth we shall presentlv pass, drains the 

* The Licorim palm must not be con- jtronouncecl Andaia. Prince Max. calls it 

founded with the Aricuri (Cocos coronata), Coco Ndaih, assu, and describes it (ii. 30). 

which is common along the coast latitudes. On the coast range and shore we may truly 

It grows twenty-five to thirty-five feet high, say of this Attalea comi^ta, "I'arbre est 

with foliage like the tiiie Cocoa -palm ; the majestueux; c'estun des plus beau jjalmiers 

fruit hangs in bunches, and each nut is dans ce pays." On the Camjios it is a 

covered Avith a deep yellow and sweetish stunted gi-owth, almost without bole. The 

pericarp. The Macaws are fond of these leaves are not eaten except by the hungriest 

Cocos de Licorim, and break the kernels of cattle ; the nut is small and exceedingly 

with their powerful beaks. hard, with an almond resembling that of 

t Also written Indaja, and in places the Cocos nucifera. 


western slopes of the Serra Grande : it is a useless shallow 
stream, here about 200 feet broad, full of rapids and choked by 
drift Avood : the banks are of hard, white, rain -guttered cla3\ 
The valley, a flat of red and grey silt, edged by gravel and stones, 
is narrow, and the lower vegetation at this season is browned by 
the burning sun. The hill tops preserve then- black verdure, 
whilst the flanks are yellow, and dark clumps are scattered about 
them. The ferry is six leagues by water, or four to four and a 
half by land, from the Barra or Embouchure into the Rio das 
Yellias. In opposition to the map-makers, ^^ all assured me that 
the Cipo stream, which is fed by the Serra da Lapa, falls into the 
Parauna, one league by water, or one and a half by land, above 
this village. Eight leagues up-stream from the Ferry is the 
Arraial de Parauna, a place of no consequence. In 1801 Dr. 
Couto declared that the Parauna and its branches, as well as the 
Pardo Major and Minor, in fact all the waters from the Great 
Serra, would prove diamantine. This has lately been shown to 
be the case, and there are now washings at the confluence of the 
Cipo with the Rio das Pedras, near the south-west corner of the 
Rotulo estate. 

The ferry here belongs to Colonel Domingos, who lets it for 
600^000 per annum and free passage for his tropas ; the toll was 
not tollendus, being only 0$500 for five mules and four men. 
After the riverine valley on the right began the usual ascent, 
winding round and up hills, whose tops and bottoms are earth, 
whilst the sides are almost invariably ribbed with bare rock, 
ledges of white grit, smooth as marble, and scatters of dark 
blue sandstone. t These strike to the south-west, and are 
raised at angles varying from 25° to 80°, giving a peculiar and 
new appearance to the scene. The ascent of such places, often 
made worse by tree-roots, is troublesome enough ; the descent 
is still more disagreeable. 

From the crest of this dividing ridge, the Black River, still 
in its snowy bed, showed the Cachoeira do Parauna, with three 
distinct flashes down a rock wail, backed by the Nigger-head 
Hill. The vegetation, like the pure white sandy soil, was a 

Burmeister is one mass of confusion. + To avoid tliis sandstone break, a road, 

M.^ Gerber makes the Cipo join the Pa- or rather a path, has been haid out to the 

ratina close to the Rio das Velhas, and calls left, np a brown dusty hill, not yet worn 

the Junction " trcs barras," the three down to the stone, and at present offering a 

embouchures. little shade. 


detritus of new '^ Itacolumite." For the first time in the Brazil, 
I saw the Canelas de Ema, " Shank bones of Ostrich," the 
Yellozias,* or tree-lilies, peculiar to these uplands. f The}- 
take the place of the heaths so common in Europe and Africa, 
and of wluch Gardner remarks, "not a single species has 
hitherto been detected on the American Continent, either South 
or North." + It is, like the tree fern, the bamboo, and the 
Araucaria, an old world vegetation, suggesting the Triassic en- 
crinitis, whilst the leafage was that of the Dragons' -blood 
Dracaena. The field showed all sizes, from a few inches to ten 
feet, the rough endogenous stems, mere bundles of fibres, were 
quaintly bulged with abundant articulations, like those of a poly- 
pus. Tins part of the plant contams resin, and the soft, high- 
dried substance is prized for fuel where wood is scarce and 
exceedingly dear. On the summit of each quaint stem was a 
bunch of thin narrow leaves of aloetic ap2)earance : as we brushed 
through them, the mules snatched many a mouthful. In the 
centre of the foliage was the lily-like flower, with viscid stalk, 
quadrangular calyx, and blue and yellow stamens. There was 
a smaller variety showing lavender-coloured blossoms, which the 
people called Painera. This must not be confounded with the 
Paina do Campo, or da Serra,§ from whose fibres are made 
horses' saddle-cloths : it is probably the Composita named by 
Gardner, Lyclmophora Pinaster, a narrow-leaved, stiff shrub, 
rarely exceeding six feet in height, but much resembling a ver}' 
young fir, and giving a decided feature to the i)eculiar vegetation 
of Minas. It will be found taller in the u^^per levels. The 
Caralwba do Campo, with tortuous branches easily formed into 
yokes, lit up the scene, as if points of gamboge had been scat- 
tered over it : the naked form contrasted curiously with the well- 
clothed Mimosa Dumetorum, one foot high, bearing a flower here 
pink, there white, ten times larger than proportion requii'es, and 

* So named from Dr. Joaquim Yellozo de § St. Hil. (III. i. 247) mentions the 

Miranda, Jesuit and botanist, born in " Paineira " do Campo (Pachira marginata), 

Minas Geraes. whose bark is scraj^ed for bed stuffings. I 

+ They flom-ish, I believe, on the Sen-a also heard the name Paina do Cerro (or 

de Ouro Branco. We shall find them again Serro) applied to a palm which extended 

on the middle coiu'se of the Sao Francisco over the higher levels as far as the end of 

River, where they clothe the western this trip. The trunk is thicker above than 

counterslopes of the Bahian " Chapada. " below, the general aspect is that of a huge 

J I need hardly say that such is no Sago, and the leafage, which resembles the 

longer the belief of botanists. Australasia Indaia, is useful for making hats, 
alone has Epacrids instead of heaths. 


with the pink, white, and scarlet tassels of the Cravinho do 
Campo, a shruhlet whose root is a wild purge.* The people 
declare that Arnica is found in the uplands : f all know the 
medicine, none its plant. 

Early after noon I descended the white hill into a red hollow, 
which grows a little coffee, sugar, and plantain fruit for the 
household. This is the place called Riacho do Vento — Windy 
Stream — a clean and well- wooded stream, flowing from the north. 
A certain Joao Alves Ribeiro was increasing his ranch, and the 
ground was strewed with timbers of the Aroeira, an Anacardium 
of several species : the heart w^as mahogany-coloured, and harder 
than any oak. The reception was not splendid, a tray turned up 
served for a table, a quarter-bushel measure for a chair, the food 
was as usual,"and the dessert was snuff, either the coarse Rolao or 
the finer P6 de fumo. En revanche the bill, including breakfast 
and civility, was only 6 $000. 

I soon found out why nw ^' Camarade " had dissuaded me 
from sleeping here. At sunset the east Avind began to blow great 
gims, threatening to carry away the tiles — truty the place justifies 
its name. According to accounts the infliction is milder during 
the first and second quarters; it sets in violently with the full, and 
is most dreaded at new moon. It comes from the high and 
bleak meridional range to our right, and easily accounts for 
the regular morning gale on the Rio das Velhas. There 
was no " pasto fechado," and these " taboleiros " are pro- 
verbial for causing mules to stray : ours began locomotion at 
once, and were not found until sundown. They were neces- 
sarily tethered for the night in an empty rancli, and the tinkling 
of their bells proved that they were starved. Nor were the 
men better off. 

We were glad to mount at 6 a.m., though the gale still howled 
overhead, and the stars were twinkling over hill tops, clearly cut 
and silver tipped. Crossmg the Windy Rivulet, we struck up the 
Serra da Contagem,t or Range of the (diamond) tolls. This off- 

■" ProLably a MjTtacea : of this genus the consent of the lieges in 1714, -when, 

several are called Craveiro da terra — native it will be remembered, the capitation - 

clove-tree. quints were raised. Dr, Couto tells us 

t The Brazilians mostly mistake for (1801) that the Villa do Principe was one 

Arnica a Composite knowTi to us as Eupa- of the four * ' Contagens dos Sertoes, " and 

torium Ayapana. says, " they call Sertoes in this Captaincy 

i These Contagens weve established with theinnor lands distant from mining villages, 


set from the Espiiiliaco runs from east to west, and acts as 
buttress to the Rio das Yelhas. Our course was to the north- 
east, and we wound from side to side with the blast catching our 
pouches, and doing its best to blow down man and beast. Thi'ee 
ascents, not precipitous, but rough with rolling stones, and mostly 
using the rock}' beds of streams, led to the summit : they were 
divided by dwarf levels (Chapadinhas), scattered over with grass 
and trees: in places water-sank, and dui'ing the rains transit must 
be desperately bad. The soil was mostly red, set in patches of 
glaring white sand, the detritus of the rock ; in some places it 
was blackened with vegetable humus, in others it sx)arkled with 
pebbles and fragments of quartz. There were slabs and sheets of 
the white gritty Itacolumite, yesterday' so abmidant : in ^^laces 
long ridges crossed the path like the rock-walls that form a 
Cachoeira, and nothing could be quainter than the shapes : here 
they were gigantic frogs and '' antediluvian," i. e. Tertiary beasts, 
Megatheres and Colossocheles, seen in profile ; there were magni- 
fied tombstones, erect or sloping, and there were fragments 
j)itched about as if in the play of giants. 

After two slow miles up the south-western crest, we reached the 
highest Chapada, and saw for the last time the plain behind us, 
billowy with endless tossing of green-yellow waves. Here the 
rocks and crags disappeared, and the compound slope was bisected 
from north to south b}' As Lages, a tree-clad stream, running 
over a bed of smooth slippery slab — an " ugly " spot; nor much 
better were the ribs of fast or loose stone on the farther side 
beyond a patch of rich ferruginous soil. On the right, a charming 
Capao, wliich seemed to be traced by the hand, divided shade 
from sunshine ; whilst cattle, -s^ith clean hides, browzed the juicy 

and where there is no mineration. " Under penses of barrack-repair, changing posts 

it (]\Iemoria, &c. p. 89) were, — and so forth. The author justly ridicules 

n -j.^ /n XI, '\ nr • •±^ a svstem wMch, for such paltry gain, did 

Caitd (Caethe) Menm, ^ith an- .,,^,,^ so much harm. Those who farmed the 

nual revenue of . . /66|400 Contagens cared only for locating them 

Kibello . . ; • /Mfl»/ ^.]^gj.Q they paid best; when a new mine 

Inhacica (on Jequitmhouha ^^s discovered they sunwnded it with a 

iinei) .... 4db|»»/ ^^gj^ ^j obstacles, and thus they lost all, 

PedoMorro _ . 4o2$a3 _^.^^ ^^^ husbandman who harvests be- 

Contagem do Galheiro (0. ant- f.^e harvest-time. Of course the toll-gates 

lered stag) to south . . 1:146$4.3/ ^j^^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^.^^^.^^.^ 

TV ^ ] o. f:QQ*p9i ^^^^ collected from the imports ; not inland 

iota tj.oa-f^ where imports paid twice, or where dues 

The pi-ofits of all four were but 5: 446 1 562 were taken from those who had bought 

(say = £544), without deducting the ex- country-made goods. 


pasture.* We then crossed a divide running east to west; the 
path was broken, and near it was a rib or dyke of dark stujff, 
which after rude testing appeared to be cobalt. The crest leads 
to the adjoining Limoeiro Basin, a formation similar to that 
just traversed, and cut b}^ three waters flowing to the south- 
west, t 

Two hours of dull riding placed us on the eastern edge of the 
Chapada, where the view suddenly changed. From our feet fell 
a long slope, or rather two slopes, a big one and a little one, of 
velvety surface, curiously contrasting with the hedgehog rocks 
around. At the base was a gleam of water flowing to the north- 
east; we are still in the valley of the Sao Francisco Eiver. Below 
us, somewhat to the right, is a clump of oranges, spiky pitas and 
wind-wrung bananas, showing where stood the old Contagem das 
Aboboras, now desolate as the Inquisition of Goa. Further 
down is the Bocaina, or Gorge, seen from afar ; on the right the 
Alto das Aboboras, and to the left an unnamed lump, form the 
huge portals of the lowland-gate. Masses of white sandstone, in 
places weathered to dingy blackness and queer shapes, and swept 
clean of everything by the wind, strike to the west, where the}^ 
stand up in bluffs like river cliffs : the dip, from 70° to 90°, gives 
a quoin-like aspect, whilst the eastern backs are of gentle slope, 
frequently grass-grown. Scattered about are knobs, heads, walls, 
and saws, a peculiarl}^ wild and hard aspect, and we look in vain 
for any correspondence of angles. Here Minas, alwaj^s hilly, 
becomes extra-mountainous ; and writers declare that the for- 
mation, generally arenaceous, turns to quartzose. In front are 
the distant lowlands, apparently plains dotted with dark hills, but 
really without half a mile of level, and the furthest distance is 
another hne of fantastic rocks. 

We now enter the true diamantine land, which older writers 
term the Cerro formation, thus distinguishing Diamantina of Minas 
from the diamond grounds of Bahia and from Diamantino of 

* I saw no sign of the berne or worm, coming from north to south, courses cold, 

No one, however, breeds, and consequently dark, and clear over a rocky and slippery 

the herds are small. bed of sandstone, and on the left is a place 

f The first is the Pindahyba, a muddy where the tropeiros encamp. The third is 

bed into which, mules sink even in the the Limoeiro, dark and muddy, with a 

"dries." An unpleasant path of white dense Capao a little beyond it. As a rule 

sandstone, with a pole serving as parapet the water is of the best, a ' ' pure vehicle 

to a precipice, leads to the Riacho da for forming the finest crystallizations. " In 

^ areda. The latter word here means a some places a white sand is spread over 

" Campina " or dwarf plain. The stream, the black mud, reversing the usual process. 


Matto Grosso. Tlie view strilies at once. It is a complete 
change of scenery ; everything is the image of bouleversement 
and aridity. The hills are no longer rounded heaps of clay, grown 
over with luxuriant vegetation. Here we have a dwarfed and 
2)auper growth springmg from the split rocks, a mean Campo 
flora, or yellow tliickets based upon scanty humus, and even the 
hardy Coqueii'o becomes degenerate.* It is a fracas of Natm-e, 
a land of crisp Serras stripped to the bones, prickly and brist- 
ling with peaky liills and fragments of pm-e rock separated by 
deep gashes and gorges; some rising overhead black and threaten- 
ing, others distant with broken top lines, with torn blue sides, 
striped with darker or lighter lines. Here and there, between 
the stern peaks, lie patches of snow-white sand or a naiTow bit 
of green plam, confused and orderless, a fibre in the core of rock- 
mountam. The land also is illiterate, and it is wild ; fossils, 
those medals of the creation, do not belong to it. 

After the first view of this country, and inspection of its mate- 
rial, I felt how erroneous was the limitation of the old men who 
confined the diamond to between 15° and 25° of north and south 
latitude, thus including Golconda, Yisapur and Pegu, and making 
Borneo and Malacca the only Equatorial diggings. I at once 
recognized the formation of the Sao Paulo Province, in which 
many diamonds have been fomid.f My little trouvaille was that 
we may greatly extend the diamantme, as we have the carboni- 
ferous strata, and that the precious stone will be found in many 
parts of the world where its presence is least suspected, and even 
where the ignorant have worked the ground for gold. 

But when, returning home, I looked at my newspapers, the 
trouvaille had been made for me. In one I read, " There are 
fifteen localities in California at which diamonds I have been fomid 
in the course of washing for gold." The Melbourne Argus 
declared that " a small but very beautiful diamond had been 
found in a claim at Young's Creek, near Beechworth : the stone 
is perfectly white, and the crystallization well defined. It is the 

* \Ylien clothed with sufficient humus, bhxck diamond, perfectly symmetrical, was 

degraded Itacolumite is a veiy fertile soil. taken from the Rio Verde, near the frontier 

f M. Barandier, a French artist, found of the Sao Paulo and Parana Provinces ; 

a small diamond at Campinas in Sio Paulo. moreover the Tibagy and other influents of 

I have seen the "forma9So," or stones the Parana are kno-wn to be diamantiferous, 

supposed to accompany the gem, in many and have supplied small specimens set by 

parts of the Province, in the valley of the nature in the Cauga rock. 
Southern Parahyba, and even near the city X The "California diamond" vas for- 

of Sao Paulo. A fine specimen of the merly a bit of rock crystal. 

VOL. II. a 


second diamond found on that Creek. Again, the Coleshery 
Advertise}' recorded the discovery of a diamond digging on the 
farm of Dr. Kalk, and asserted that some gems had been washed 
worth 500/.* 

Old Ferreu'a, my comrade, used very hard words as he passed 
the ruins of the Contagem das Aboboras, which he called the Con- 
tagem do Galheiro.f The senior was a kind of Mr. Chocks, 
exceedingly grandiloquent till Nature expelled Art ; he would call 
heat a " temerit}' of sun," rich ore a " barbarity of iron ; " he told 
me to '' charge to the right," meaning to take that direction ; when 
imcertain he declared that " it did not constate," and when he 
ignored a thing, he was '^not a great apologist of it." But, if 
tradition do not mightily exaggerate concerning the " days of des- 
potism," as the colonial rule is popularly called, his bad language 
was justifiable. The soldiers and their commandant who occupied 
yon stone ranch, now ruined, held all the passes and watched the 
neighboming Corregos, the only zigzags up which the Garimpeii'o 
or smuggler could travel. Travellers were searched, and muleteers 
were compelled to take to pieces the pack-saddles where treasure 
might be concealed. Extreme cases are quoted. Men who bathed 
in the diamond rivers were flogged, and those found washing in 
them lost theii' hands. The tradition here is that the obnoxious 
system was abolished by D. Pedro L, that popular prince having 
accidentally, when disguised a la Harun El Rashid, learned from 
a mule- trooper all its evils and injustice. 

From the white soil we i)assed to a wave of reddish j^ellow 
ground, the ''Mulatto" of the Southern States, and took the left 
of the huge portal on the right. The descent was gentle, but at 
the bottom came the usual troubles—tree stumps in the ground, 
holes whence roots had been drawn, banks up which the mules had 
to climb, a red soil forming puddle during the rains, and black 
earth even now a rivulet. We met a few mules about 9 a.m. 
Here the cold prevents an earlier start. Some carried for sale in 
the backwoods *'Pedras de furno," round slabs of white Itacolumite, 
2J- feet in diameter by 1 inch in thickness. For drying manioc 

''^' When traveHiug In Virginia, I Lad Rio rardo Llraiule, hix to seven leaguc.- 

iieard of a tnie diamond picked ui) near nortli of tlie Eio Paraima, There is no^N- 

Richmond ; it -^Acighed some twenty-four a Fazenda do (xalheiro, which l)elongs i« 

<arat8-and cut to about lialf, and was many owners ; it in drained hy tJie Riacho 

sold for a small sum as it wanted "water." -lo Vento; 

f The (xalheiro is to the north on tin- 


they are preferred to metal pans or plates, because tliey cost 
3 §000 to 5S000. The manufacture is easy. They are x)rized up 
with levers, chipped into rounds or oblongs, and are ready for the 
oven. For convenience of carriage they are sometimes divided 
into semicircles. The quarry was shown — a mere dot on the hill 
side, a drop in the ocean that could supply all the Empii-e. Fine 
heavy soapstone is found in the torrent beds, and 1$000 procured 
for me a specimen m the shape of a candlestick. 

Presently we reached a miserable hamlet of tattered wattle and 
dab huts, called Camillinho — little Camillus — after some ^'regulo 
da roca" who first settled there. An honest Eancheu-o, Luis 
Monteiro, lodges man and beast. In his absence the wife gave 
us coffee and food, whilst the mules were sent to a good closed 
pasture hard by. Ai'ound the huts, which were jalousie-closed 
towards the road, and swarming -^-ith hens, pigeons, and black 
gu-ls, grew a few coffee trees and v>-ind-wrung bananas, whilst a 
smgie rose, which had learned to be a creeper, curled over a 
thatched roof. 

From Camillinho v\-e took a north-easterly com'se between two 
lines of rock. The soil appears to be always red clay upon the 
liill tops, with stony and ribbed sides, which sometimes throw lines 
across the road, and white or yellow tints in the lower parts. The 
huge Esbarrancados are here a mixture of water-breach and sun- 
crack ; in places they cut up the country and cut off the roads. 
They are mostly elongated crevasses, whose projecting and re- 
entermg angles correspond. Some form central islets, like St. 
Michael's Mount in miniature. The favourite site is the side of a 
hill, which will inevitably be eaten away, and often they moat the 
heights like the ditches of Titans. The old formations are known 
by their tarnish, and by the growth of trees in the lowest levels ; 
the new are fi-esh, and generally bottomed with mud or flowing 
water. The whites and reds, yellows and pm'ples, are lively as in 
other parts of the Province, and the feature is pictm-esque with 
light and shade, especially at thnes when the sun lies low. At fii-st 
sight they suggest artificial models ; the brilliantly coloured sec- 
tions wliich are supposed to represent the earth's interior. We find 
even the ''faults" and " djdces" which restrain percolation. 

The line ran over sundry waves of ground, and wound round 

the hill sides, white vvith their small, loose^ glaring stones. The 

descents and ascents were both bad, and led to and from waters 

G 2 


either grej'-coloured or crystal clear, flowing to the right, that is 
to swell the Paraima Eiver south-west. The huts appeared tem- 
porary, like mining villages, and here and there a manioc i^atch 
shows the capability of the soil. I presume that in many places 
the land would bear the short and strong-stemmed hill-wheat of 
Texas. The cool and shady wooded bottoms swarmed with the 
Carraputo tick, and it was found advisable to send a man forward 
by way of " drawing them off." We are now approaching spring- 
tide, and the tints are prettily diversified. The pink Quaresma, 
dwarfed by cold, hugs the damp places near water ; the golden 
Ipe, that local yew, also small, prefers the stony upland. In the 
hollows there is a flower that reminds me of the purple Aster, 
llie stripped trees project their grey lean limbs against back- 
grounds of lightest-green, middle-green, and darkest green, and 
everywhere the bush is red, burnished with the new leaves of the 
Pau de Oleo,* a leguminous celebrity which prefers dry grounds and 
shuns stagnant waters. 

The birds seem to be less bullied here than in most other parts 
of the Province. I saw for the first time a peculiar pigeon which 
extends down part of the Ivio de 8iio Francisco, and is found in 
the Highlands of Bahia. The people call it Pomba Verdadeii'a, or 
de Encontro branco, from the white marks on the wings. It is 
probably a variety of the Columba speciosa found on the seaboard, 
and its marbled neck and superior size suggest our blue rock. It 
looked like a giant by the side of the Pomba Torquaz,t the largest 
of the many doves (Jurity, Bola, and others) which inhabit 

* *' Oil --wood," Copaifera officinalis, vexy violent remedy, and mostly confined 

also written Copahyba, Cupauba, and in to the treatment of cattle sores. The 

other wa3^s. The Caramuru (7, 51) de- season for collecting the precious balsam 

scribes it as, — opens with the new moon of August ; the 

people say of the tree "Chora " (it weeps like 

A Copaiba em curas applaudida— Myi-rha) "tudo o mez de Augusto," and a 

'' Capivi which oft works a certain cure." ^ing^e trunk fills several bottles. The bark 

is cut, and pledgets of cotton are placed to 

The Indians, who knew the medicine Avell, drain the slit ; the people have an idea 

collected it in sections of nuts, corked with that the greatest yield is Avhen the moon is 

wax, and during hot weather it used full, and that it gradually falls till the 

to sweat through the rude bottle, i)ro"\dng wane. 

its excessive "tenuity." In 1787, ac- f The word is the Latin "Torquatus," 
cording to Ferreira, a pot of nine Lisbon and alludes to the ring round the neck ; 
canadas (each two litres) cost 6 $000 to the vulgar corrupt it to Trocaes, and thus 
6$400, and "Capivi" was considered to we find'it Avritten by Prince Max. (i. 396). 
be an important importation, having credit Amongst the uneducated in the Brazil the 
for inany pseu do -virtues. Painters used it iiufoitiniatc letter r is sul)ject, amongst 
for linseed oil, but not in places exposed to other injuries manifold, to excessive trans- 
weather, as it easily came off. Here it is position. 
ijold in the shops, but it is held to be a 


these liiglilands. The Eaptores are unusually numerous. There 
is the Caracara, which ranks with the eagles, and behaves, the 
degenerate aristocrat, vilely as a buzzard, A vulture (V. aura), 
probably the Acabiray first described by Azara, is here called 
Urubii Cacador, or the hunter. It resembles in form the vulgar 
bird, but it flies high. The head is red, and the wings are black 
with silver lining, like the noble Bateleur of Africa. Prince Max. 
(i. 75) makes the bird's head and neck to be gris cendre, which is 
not the case ; he also guides its distant com*se by smell, which I 
vehemently doubt. Another hawk, known by the general name 
Gaviao, poises itself in mid air, and is said to be a game bird, self- 
taught to follow and kill the C'adorna, or local partridge. If so, 
there would be no difficulty in training it. There is also a tin}^ 
raptor, hardly larger than a sandpiper. The first swallow seen 
during this year darted by in search of a warmer climate. The 
Scissar-tail (tesoura)4urns sharply in the air, opening and shutting 
its forked tail ; the x^retty white and black Maria Preta, and the 
crimson Sangre de Boi or Pitangui, disported themselves amongst 
the stunted trees ; while John Clay (Joao de Barros) hopped chat- 
tering before us as if he had some secret to tell, and the Tico-tico, 
tame as a robin, flirted with us like a little girl. At times the 
sharp stroke of a file upon a saw, sometimes singly and sometimes 
in quick succession, was heard. We recognised the voice of 
the bell-bird,* which has latel}' been introduced to England. 

Ascending a slope after an hour's ride, we found a fresh change 
of scene. To the right, in a low, flat green bottom by the banks 

* A drawing of a specimen which reached The Procnias (a genus formed by Illiger, ) 
England lately appeared in the Illustrated is called nudicollis from its thin gi-een- 
News. It is the Campanero or hell-bird patched throat, so conspicuous in the snow- 
described in the last generation by Water- white plume. It has no caruncle like the 
ton, who makes its voice audible "at a bird figured in the illustration to "Kidder 
distance of nearly three miles." The and Fletcher," (edition of 1857) and called 
Chasmorh}^lchos nudicollis is popularly Uruponga ; the l)ird with a tubercle is the 
known as Araponga, a coiTuption of Guira- white Cotinga, named Guiraponga or 
ponga, from C-fuira a bird, pong onomato- Ampelis Carunculata (Linn.). Prince ]\Iax. 
poetic, and -a, what exists. St, Hilnire has described other species of tliis re- 
(III. i. 26) derives it from Ara, day, and markable family, as, c.ff., the Procnias 
pong, ''son d'line chose creuse." He melanocephalus (i. 260), and the Procnias 
wai-ns us not to confound it, like ]\rr. Walsh, Cyanotropes or ventralis, with blue green 
with the "ferrador"or blacksmith frog, reflections (i. 291). 

and, curious to say, for once ISlv. Walsh The peculiarity of this winged Stentor is 

is right. The T. Diet, explains Guira- the disproportion of the note to the size. 

Ijonga by ferrador-ave. Castelnau men- We hear the blow of a hammer upon an 

tions the ferrador bird (i. 274) and (in i. anvil ; we see a creature about the size of 

169) the feiTador frog, which Prince Max. the smallest turtle dove, 
(i. 269) calls Ferreiro. 


of tlie Ribeii'ao do Tigre, another influent of the Paraima, lay 
houses and dwarf fields ; on the hill side was a tall black cross in 
a brand-new enclosure, a cemetery lately built, and already in 
active use. Around was a kind of prairie, high and subject to 
fierce winds, as the dwarfed Bromelias and the stunted Vellozias 
proved: the grass was thick but brown in the upper levels, and of 
metallic green below, suggesting fine pasture. The surface was 
pitted with termitaria, of which many liad been mined by the 
Armadillo : mostly they showed annexes of a darker grey, clumsy 
projections lil^e modern additions to some old country house. 
The praii'ie fires produced a dull glow in the sky, and the smoke 
folds crossing the sun had the effect of a cloud, and in places 
cast shadow upon the face of earth ; we blessed the beneficent 
gloom. Far to the north-east lay our destination, Gouvea — we 
are now about half-way—pointed out by its road, a red-bro^\ai 
ribbon spanning the sunburnt turf. To its left rose a massive, 
lumpy peak, streaked with horizontal wavy lines : on the right 
towered a cloud-kissing point, which some called Morro das Datas, 
and others Itambe.* The horizon in other places w^as bounded 
with bluff' cliffs, which seemed to buttress an immense imaginary 
stream. Here and there was a '' Pilot-knob," with strata regular 
as if built up, but defjdng human hands to build it. 

The hill sides here showed traces of ancient leats, and heaps 
of clay stone grit which they had helped to wash. Within the 
Contagem all the soil is reputed to be diamantiferous, and the 
people delight to tell 3^ou that you may be treading upon precious 
stones. This, indeed, appears to be their thought by day and 
their dream at night. The surface was still disposed in waves, 
with abrupt inclines of red and yellow ground, deeply gashed, 
leading to thi'ee several waters, f which are struck perpendicularlv. 
The watershed is from north-west to south-east, discharging to 
the Parauna River. Mostly they are bright little streams, painted 

* Ita-mbe, the big stoue or rock. St. bridge of eight trestles, some sixty-three 

Hil. (L i. 294) proposes as derivation, yards long ; at this season it is fordable. 

yta aymbe, pierre a aiguiser. There are The Ribeirao das Almas showed a thread of 

tv.'o features of this name, as will presently pure water running along the main current, 

appear. which had been made a dirty slate -coloured 

t The first is the Agoa Limpa, on whose drain by washings in the upper bed. The 

left bank rose a tall cliff, black as if vol- soil is mostly red as if rusty with oxide of 

canic — the effect of grass burning. Further iron ; it is fertile and produces oranges 

on to the right is a silvery lakelet, contain- (remarkably good) and Jaboticabas, beside;^ 

ing a knobby islet. The llibeirao das the nonnal coffee shnibs and bananas. 
Areias spreads out T>-idc, and has a rough 


l^ink-red with ii'on, and set off by golden sands and avenues of 
leek-green trees. In the dwarf riverine valleys and the hillsides 
were fields and huts, some of them tiled, and near the Areias a 
venda was being built. 

We met on the way sundry parties of women coming from 
some local festival, a few wliites, di'essed in straw hats and rain- 
bow-coloured cottons, with blacks carrying their children. They 
did not, as in many places, run away, and the tropeiros were 
unusually civil, seeing that I was still a recruiting- of&cer. The 
last divide led to the Corrego do Chiqueii'o — of the Hogstye *— - 
v/hicli is deep and dangerous during floods. We are now one 
league from om' night's destination, and presently, after a long 
ascent and a leg to the east, we saw over a dwarf peak the con- 
spicuous church of Gouvea. 

Women, all with the Caboclo look, carrying wood, entered mth 

us as we passed the Cruz das Almas, which rose fi-om a pile of 

stones. This cross, wluch recalls the souls in Pm'gatory, is here 

general. On the hill to the right was an unfinished building, 

N** S^ das Dures, undertaken by the vicar. Rev. P^ Francisco de 

Paula Moreii'a, and Sr. Eoberto Alves, Jun., the son of a wealthy 

family. I thought that the grim, stone buildmg, with what 

appeared to be a single chimney, was a fort raised for some 

inexplicable purpose ; and it reminded me of the old Portuguese 

fane — = 

" Half churcli of Grotl, half castle 'gainst the Moor." 

We passed the Rosario, a detached chapel with a single palm 
tree, and rode northward, up a street of ground-floor houses and 
open Ranchos, each with its fi'ontage of stakes towards the 
square, which apparently represented the town. After the sunnj- 
ride, and the high wind, which promised a cold night, I looked 
wistfully for a lodging, and saw none. Presently my guide 
remembered Dona Chiquinha, the wife of a Diamantina merchant, 
now at Rio de Janeiro : his name, Ehzardo Emygdio de Aguiar, 
is written as pronounced by his friends, Elizaro Hemedio. Here 
began the civility of which I afterwards experienced so much in 
this part of the Province. The Dona at once admitted me, her 

* A poetical name not rare. Near Oui'o — Oiu* Lady of the Conception of the Ho-v- 
Preto is a place called N* S^ da Concei^ao stye of the Grerman. 
do Chiqneiro do Allamao (for Allemao). 


maiTied daugliter brought oranges, her little granddaughter orange 
flowers, and her slaves cofl'ee. 

I presently walked out to view the place, and to escape bemg a 
menagerie. The people stared like the negroes of Ugogo : they 
could hardty gaze their full ; they would, when tired, rest awhile, 
and ju'esently take another ''innings." The operations of shav- 
ing and of using a tooth-hrush seemed to produce a peculiar 
edification. North of the town stands the chief church, Santo 
Antonio, occuiDying part of the square, which is rather a bulging 
in the street. It stands awry, having been built probably before 
Gouvea was founded ; it fronts south-west, unpolitel}' i^resenting 
to Jerusalem its dorsal region. On each side bits of Calcada line 
the red soil, and these incipient pavements lie here and there. 
About it are a few Casuarinas and Coqueiro palms, at this season, 
they say, always mangy ; they feed a large caterpillar (lagarta) * 
which presently becomes a " borboleta " — moth or butterfly — 
after which they recover. The square shows one sobrado, belong- 
ing to Jofio Alves, amongst the sixty-four houses east of the 
chm'ch: the fiftv-eight to the west have sundry half-sobrados, and 
all the better sort are distinguished by shutters painted blue. 
The holy building is crooked from cross to door, a2)parentl3" the 
people's eyea cannot see a straight line : it has four windows, and 
two weather-cocked towers, with roof covers upturned : there are 
two bells, and the eastern belfry has a bogus clock. Behind the 
temple is the God's acre, quaintly adorned with corner-posts of blue 
plaster, supporting rude and rusty armillary spheres. 

The town is on a rough ridge, and water is scarce and distant. 
On the east, far below, lies the usual Lavapes : nearer is the Rua 
do FogOjf a kind of chemin des affronteux, and in the distance is 
the Morro de Santo Antonio, a noble stone-knob based upon an 
earthen pedestal. No one has ascended it, yet it may be easily 
chmbed on the south-east. Westward is the Rua do Socego or 
dos Coqueu'os, with a few houses scattered and whitewashed, in 
compounds defended by dry stone walls. The growth is the 
Castor shrub, the Jaboticaba, the papaw, whose leaves are here 

* The Curculio palmarnm is relished flavour, 
in Africa, and greedily eaten by the S. f The Street of Fire, not an uncommon 
American "Indians." I have never tasted village name in the Brazil, usually mean- 
it, but white travellers have informed me ing that in it liquor and consequently 
that it has a delicate and even a delicious quarrels abound. 


used for soup, the plantain, a few good oranges, and the sweet 
lime with bitter placenta, called Lima da peca : the coffee looks 
thriftless and starving, as usual it is crowded and untrimmed. 
Provisions are excessively expensive, having to make the 
journey which we have made, and maize* costs 4 $000 per 

On the next morning, when I called for the bill, the Dona 
refused everything, even a gift ; such was her hospitable habit, 
and she declared that her sons also were wandering over the 
world abroad. AVe mounted at 7 a.m., a light east wind rising 
with the sun, whilst the sky was moutonne with clouds. Our 
course lay north-east towards the pyramids of dull grey stone, 
the smaller below the larger, and both sentinelling the richer 
diamond lands. A slipper}^ hill, gashed with water-breaches, led 
to a wooded hollow, which sheltered a few thatched huts ; to the 
right was a Sitio, belonging to Roberto Alves. It had outhouses, 
enclosures, and a coffee plantation, somewhat thin, but defended 
from the blasts and superior to all rivals. 

Here began the Pe de Morro, or ascent, which will last till near 
Diamantina. The wheel-road winding round the western side is 
easy : the bridle-path to east seems made for goats, with its 
loose stones and its ruts petrified in hard pink clay. Presentlv 
the latter fell into the former line, and the slope im23roved. From 
the summit we had a good back view of Gouvea, but soon the 
wind, chopping round to the north, drifted in oiu' faces a thick 
Scotch mist. Old Ferreira complained that the Corrubiana t got 
into his bones and nearly made him lose the way.| 

The hill led to a plateau consisting of two plains divided by a 
water and a prism of rock. One of them was about two miles 
across ; such an extent of level surface is here rarely seen. Cattle 
fine and plump, despite the Carrapatos, and probably strengthened 
by the highly ferruginous water, made it look like " a pastoral in 
a flat." The Capao, however, was not of the style " bonito," § 

* In this country the alqueire of maize and also, I believe, in Rio Grande do Sul. 

regulates prices like the quai-tei-n loaf in Some Caijilras pronounce it "Cruviana, " 
England. I have seen it at Sao Paulo, the X 0^ the right hand a road sets off to 

city, fluctuate between 2 $000 and 4 $000 Datas, the property of Colonel Alexandre 

— more exactly between 1 $ 940 and de Almeida Silva Bitancourt ; it reaches 

4 $160, the city, but after a very long round. 

f This word is popular in Minas Geraes, § The "pretty tree motte " is often seen 


it was coarse and lagged, whilst the land was much burnt. 
The road became excellent, broad, level, and fit for a carriage : 
unhapi3ily, like that approaching Agbome, it is a mere patch. 

At 9 A.M. we descended to Barro Preto, the first diamond dig- 
ging which I had seen at work. The site is a stream bed, the 
head-waters (Cabeceiras) of the Corrego das Lages, which feeds 
successively the Corrego das Datas (or the Cachoeira), the Cor- 
rego da Grupiara and the Parauna Eiver. The surface showed 
spoil-heaps of " saibro," clayey sand, varying in colour from 
dirty white to milky white, like the detritus of quartzum lacteum, 
tm-fy and vegetable matter, and pebbles mixed with fragments of 
rock crystal. A Httle thread of muddy water triclded down and 
served the *' Servicosinho."* We passed two huts and a half of 
thatch-wattle and dark-grey dab, whence the negroes stared, the 
dogs barked, the pigs grmited. The place, knomi for two to 
three years, has been worked during the last eight months by 
Joao and Manuel Alves, the sons of a centagenarian. It is said 
that they have several diamonds exceeding two oitavas (say each 
= 280L), and there are vague rumom-s of a large stone which is 
kept a profomid secret. In these diggings all is mystery, and not 
without reason ; an exceptional diamond generally counts in the 
wild parts at least one murder. 

Pushmg across the sterile diamantine land, where the wind- 
wrung trees acted as anemometers, I again remarked the fantastic 
forms of the sandstone, especially on the north-east, whence the 
weather comes. Here were watch-towers and pyramids, there 
were walls which no CjTlops could have raised ; now we passed 
peeled skulls, then mouldering bones. Between them the sur- 
face was mottled, sand -patches white as kaolin, or stained with 
humus and soil, yellow, purple, and dull crimson with ochre 
and haematite, dotted the expanse of warm-red brown land ; the 
latter was comparatively fertile, and clothed with black ashes, from 
which si^routed grass of metallic green, spiky as a stifi" beard. 
The expected eclipse came on, the sun diminished to a crescent, 
but the mist was so thick that the efi'ect passed away almost 

in the Province of Sao Paulo, where the '" A small Servigo. The latter is an old 

grass, like the nap of yellower green veh'et, name still applied in Minas <xeraes and 

sweeps up to the clump, which is of tall Bahia to diamond washings worked ])y a 

and regx\lar growth. tropa or slave-gang under free-men. 


imperceptibly. No one paid any attention to it, nor would 


Si fractus illabatur orbis ; 

not because over-just or tenacious of tilings proposed, but from 
mere incui'iousness. Old Ferreii'a, it is true, remarked that it 
might be the cause of the '^ confounded Corrubiana," * but then, 
he could think of nothing else. 

Still ascending, we crossed thi-ee waters flowing to the west- 
ward, t and divided by bulges of ground. Near the fii'st was a 
clump of huts and signs of industr3^ A rough "Baco,"t or 
three-sided trough of planks and sandstone-slabs, awaited the 
rains to wash the heaps lying near it. After four miles of barren 
soil we made '' Bandeirinha," § a wliitewashed house, surrounded 
by a few trees, and a close pasture fi'onted by an open ranch. 
Maria Augusta de Andrade, in the absence of her husband, Jos^ 
da Eocha, miner, ''merchant," Rancheii'o, and so forth, rose up 
shivering and prei)ared breakfast for us : the south-east Tvind had 
blown for five days, and on my retimi, five days afterwards, I 
found it blowing still. 

Now remained only ten miles. In half an hour w^e ascended a 
ston}^ hill of red and white soil. This is the great dividing line 
l)etween the Rivers Sao Francisco and Jequitinhonha ; from this 
I'joint it trends in a northerlv dii'ection, bending to the west. On 
the left was a cross-road leading through the little villages O 
Guinda, the Brumadinho, and the Rio das PecU'as to the Mme of 
Sao Joao. , In fi'ont lay a huge bro-^ai slope, patched with 
snowy, ghttering, dazzling sand, and here and there growing grass 
of a lively green : in places there was an abundance of the 
ground-palm, here called Coqueirinho do Campo, dwarfed by the 

* Perhaps this was the case. On my also feeds the Corrego do Capao. A single 

return the mist tried to gather thick, but house is built near its bank, 
■svas soon dispersed by the sun. % This trough con-esponds -\\-ith the ca- 

+ The first is the Corrego de Joao Vaz, noa used in gold-washing, 
so called from an old settler whose descend- § Dr. Couto, in ISOl, mentions the 

ants still gamble in diamonds ; they have Sitio da Bandeirinha, the little Bandeira, 

seven huts, one neatly whitewashed. It or Commando. Burmeister en'oneously 

flows to the Corrego do Capao, and thence -wi'ites " Bandeirinho. " This and Bandeira 

to the Rio Pardo Pequeno ; diu-ing the are common names in the Province of 

rains it is dangerous. The second is known Minas, dating from the days of the slaving 

as the Brauna (Melanoxylon Grauna), a expeditions, 
rocky bed with the bulges called Caldeiroes, || See Chapter 9. 

and at this season a ti-ickle of water, which 


gales. Near the horizon, scatters of tall stone, heads, 
shoulders, knobs, piles and lumj^s broke the outline, and far to 
the right rose the long blue wall which bears the majestic 
p^Tamid Itambe. 

Presentl}^ we passed, on the left, O Guinda, so called from a 
broad, shallow, and sandy stream, once very rich, and still 
worked : it feeds the northern Eio das Pedras, the Eio do Cal- 
deirao, the Biribiri, the Pinheiro, and the Jequitinhonha Rivers. 
It is a miner- town, surrounded by red excavations, and looks from 
afar like an ant-hill; has a single small square and large black cross, 
sheds for tropeiros, and decent houses, hugging the left bank of 
the water. Beyond it is the Brumadinho, a similar settlement, 
but smaller. Presently we sighted, far ahead, a grim rock}^ 
wall, with a white path winding up its darkness ; this is the good 
new road leading to Medanha on the Jequitinhonha River, and 
thence to Sao Salvador da Baliia. Crossing the northern Rio 
das Pedras, a crystal water-babe in a sandstone cradle, I crested 
a hill, and saw to the east a big white house, garnished with a 
fcAV brown huts, and standing apparently on the edge of a pre- 
cipice — the Episcopal Seminary. 

Diamantina was within musket-shot, but a long northerly 
detour was necessary in order to gain the main road. I forded 
the Riacho das Bicas, so called from an old and rich gold mine 
on the hill behind the Seminary : this Lavapes flows to the 
east, and falls into a little Rio de Sao Francisco, south of tlie 
city. The hollows were rich in the large and deeply digitated 
Ai'oid with an edible fruit, known as Imbe, or Guaimbe, and in 
Tupy, Tracuans (Philodendron grandifolium). It loves damp 
places, and has an extensive range between sea-level and 3000 
feet of altitude. A stiff ascent — the last — and a line of stunted 
Araucarias, led to a hill-crest and the usual Cruz das Almas. 
Here the traveller first sights the city, falling in perspective below 
his feet. It is a Brazilian *' Pangani " — a settlement "in a hole." 
The first glimpse suggests — 

Dirarum nidis domus opportnna volucrum. 

Yet sings of it its local poet, the late Aureliano J. Lessa — 

Ves la na encosta do monte 
Mil casas em gruposinhos 


Alvas como cordeirinhos 
Que se lavaram na fonte ? 
Qual dragao petrificado 
Aquella serra curvado 
Que mura a cidadesinha ? 
Pois essa cidade e minlia 
E meu berco idolatrado.* 


* See'.sf thou upon j'on slope of hill 

A thousand houses grouped together, 
White as the yeanling of the wether, 

All freshly bathed in summer rill ? 

And see'st not in far backgi-ound 

Like to a serpent tiu-ned to stone, 
The range in regidar curving thrown, 

That walls the little city round ! 

Behold my o^vn dear M-alls arise, 
The cradle which I idolize. 




" The temperate climate enjoyed by the inhabitants of this part of the country 
renders them more healthy than those who dwell in the Sertao (Far West) ; the 
women are the most beautiful I met with in Brazil." — Gardner^ chap. xii. 

The site of Diamantina is peculiar : it is almost precipitous to 
the east and south-west, whilst the northern part is a continua- 
tion of the broken prairie -land. This incipient Haute Ville is the 
best and healthiest locaUty, and here the settlement will spread. 
The '' Cidadesinha" runs down the western face of a strongly 
inclined hill to meet on the sole of the deep valley the Kio de Sao 
Francisco, or Rio Grande ; its water, draining the lowlands, feeds 
the main artery of this basin, the Eio Jequitinhonha, distant three 
leagues in a straight line, and five to six indirect.* The breadth 
of the torrent-bed, here running from north to south, is patched 
with red-brown soil and brilliantly green herbage : the middle is 
white with cascalho heaps thrown up by the old diggers : a mere 
thread of water now trickles down it, but after rain it becomes 
dangerous J a dwarf bridge has been put w]) to save servile life 
from the frequent inundations. The further side of the ravine is 
a grim broken wall of grey rock, white under the hammer; the 
rampart springs steeply from a base encumbered with spoil- 
banks, washed many a year ago, and is raggedl}^ clothed with 
grass now brown, f 

Viewed from the '' Alto da Cruz," the cit}" has a well-to-do 

* The course is southerly to the Southei'ii lionlia. 
Kio (las Pedras ; it then turns by east to t It is advisable to walk up tlie new 

noi-tli-east, and joins, or according to some, Bahia road, whicli commands an excellent 

forJns the head waters of tlie gi-eat .Jequitin- prosi^ect of the city. 


and important look. It is much changed since 1801, when as the 
"Arraial do Tejuco " — the village of the mud-hole,* it had 
nothing hut wooden tenements ; nor can it be recognised in the 
pages of Gardner and M. Barbot,t who described it as it was 
durmg the last generation. Belov>" us lies a sheet of houses 
dressed in many colours, pmk, white, and 3-ellow, with large 
green gardens facing broad streets and wide squares, whilst public 
buildings of superior size, and a confusion of single and double 
church-steeples, testify to the piety of the place. 

From the Alto da Cruz we make the Largo do Curral, the best 
building-site in, or rather out of, the city. Formerly cattle w^ere here 
stabled and slaughtered ; now a tall black cross has converted it 
mto a respectable square. Descending the good new Calcada of 
the Rua da Gloria, formerly '' do Intendente," we passed on the 
left the Sobrado da Gloria, which began life as the Intendency of 
Diamonds, then became the provisional Episcopal Palace, and 
now lodges those Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul whom we met 
upon the road near the Caraca. Inside the carpenters are at 
work pulling to i^ieces thnber stiU sound after a centmy of use : 
an old-fashioned wooden verandah looks upon a large back- 
garden of the richest soil, supplied with the purest water. 
02:>posite is the tall sobrado belonging to the Lieut, -Col. Eo- 
drigo de Souza Reis, whose mine we shall presentl}^ visit. 

The Gloria strikes at right angles a street called, no one laiows 
why, the Macao do Meio. It must not be confounded with the 
Largo do Macao, where stands the Caridade Infirmary, a long, 
broad, white building belonging to a " brotherhood." The 
roughly paved Middle Macao contams good shops, the '' Hotel 
Cula," I and the Church of Sao Francisco, whose doors and wm- 
dows are set in a framework of very unpretty streaky red — here a 
fashionable tint, supposed to resemble marble, A six-faced and 
two-spouted fountain of Egyptian grotesqueness, set in the wall 
and dated 1861, begins the normal Eua Direita* '* Straight 
Street" is exceedmgiy crooked, steep, and badly paved. Most of 
the houses are new and boast of windows : some preserve the 
shutter, and one retains the hanging gallery and Eotula or 

'^ The word is exjjlahied at leugtli in baeus Oastro, a delegate of police. Break- 

Vol. I. Chap. 10, fast at 9 'SO a.m., a table d'hote (mesa 

+ Traite Complet, etc., p. 218. redonda), at 4 p.m., and 0$S00 i>er meal, 
i In full Sr. Herculano Carlos de ^Maga^ 


lattice-work of dingy, cliocolate-coloured wood. It will soon be 
removed : these antiquities are very properly despised in the 
Brazil : here Temple Bar would be photographed, and no longer 
allowed to cumber the ground. The sooner the old Pillory 
is demolished, the better for progressive Diamantina — let me 

In the Larofo da Kua Direita or de Santo Antonio is the Town- 
haU (Casa da Camara), a humble building, displaying the Imperial 
Arms.* It has latterly been used as a Masonic Lodge. This was 
forbidden, justly enough, because a Portuguese priest, Padre Luis, 
became a brother. Opposite the Camara, and facing with the 
Course of Empire, is the Matriz, whose '' Orago" is Santo Antonio. 
It is an '^ insula," with a raised platform towards the northern 
slope of the hill. A stone wall shows the cemetery, to be banished 
quam primum. The two-windowed front, with two rose-lights 
pierced in the rude Taipa-conglomerate, is bound in neutral-tmted 
skj'-blue french-grey, whilst the doors and shutters are daubed 
chocolate. All above the cornice is of board work, even to the 
belfry, the first instance of the Idnd which I have seen in the 
Brazil. The single window of the steeple shows a gilt bell. There 
is a clock which, wondrous to relate, goes, but goes wrong, and 
the finial is the usual armillary sphere with the normal extensive 
weather-cock, more often a dragon than a cock. There is nothing 
to be described in the interior of this or of any other Diamantine 
Church, and the ''lumber" work gives them generall}^ a look of 

We are in the heart of the city, the centre of business-circu- 
lation. On the left of the Square is the Intendencia de Sousa 
Beis.t "Intendency" here means a substantial market shed, the 
embryo of the Pisan Sotto borgo. Sousa Reis is private property, 
and under the deep dark verandah are shops which sell everything, 
from flour to snuff, required by the wild country. Below and to 
the east is a large open square, the " Cavalhada Nova," as distin- 
Guished from the '' Yelha," further down and almost outside the 
city. These clear spaces were so called from the Portuguese car- 
rousels, which, like bull-fights, once accompanied every festivit3\ 
They are obsolete in the Brazil, though they preserve vitality in 

* The losvfv story is not the iiurinal + There arc two other Intcndencias, dc 

jirison, which h;i.s l.)een veinoved to a biiikl- Scbastiao Picada, and tlic Lagcs ; the hitter 
ing near the tlicntrc. has tive storca. 


Italy, in Portugal, and even in Anglicized Madeira. The last 
'^ tournament" I saw was at the Island of Fogo, in the Cape Verde 

Crossing and leaving on the right the Rua da Quitanda, I found 
the house of my host, Sr. Joao Ribeiro (de Carvallio Amarante), 
on the noi*thern side of the Pra9a do Bomiim. The ground floor 
is laid out in a dr^'-goods store and an inner writing apartment, 
where the diamonds are kept. The dining room and kitchen 
affect the back part of the tenement, and above are the apartments 
of the famil3\ The hospitable Lisbonese freely confesses that he 
began life with di'iving a few mules ; he is now the wealthiest mer- 
chant where all are merchants, and he supplies goods even to 
Guaicuhy and Januaria.* At the Pe de Morro, near the Curu- 
matahy influent of the Jequitinhonha, he owns a large fazenda, 
where he breeds cattle, grows provisions, and manufactm^es sugar 
and rum. He is in trouble about his 50 slaves, and nowhere, as 
far as I know the Brazil, are negroes so troublesome as those in 
and around Diamantina. Many of them take to the bush and 
become *' Quilombeiros," black banditti, ready for any atrocity 
which their cowardice judges safe. Here no one travels even by 
day without having his weapons handy and without looking round 
the corners. They are skilful as Canidia or Locusta, and much 
addicted to the use of Stramonium.f A common sj^mptom is an 
intense pam in the legs, a medical man assm'ed me, causing a 
drawn and anxious countenance. Many a slave-owner has sus- 
pected mahngering, till mideceived by the sufi'erer's speedy death. 
A case has lately occiu'red at Pe de Morro ; the owner will pre- 
sently visit it and make a terrible example of the poisoner. Thus 
a tlu'eatened servile mutiny was summarily crushed in 1865 by 
flogging and the galleys ; + nor did anybody meet with the fate of 
Governor E}Te. 

Sr. Joao Ribeiro consigned me to his bachelor guest-house in 
the Rua do Bomfim, so called from a Chmxh dedicated to Our 
Lady of Good End. The street is a kind of ragged iiTegular 

* See Chapters 13 and 17. that the plant has here followed the foot- 

+ The System says that its alkaloid prin- steps of man from N. America, 
ciple is well known to the negi'oes, who pre- J The " Quilombeiros " of Medanha had 

pare from the plant their " philters," that a Maroon settlement within a league of the 

is to say, charms and poisons, love-draiights village, and threatened the suburbs of 

and other devilries. May not the seeds of the Diamantina. When their stronghold was 

Stramonium have been brought from India attacked and taken, whites as well as 

vis, Africa ? St. Hil. (I. ii. 97) determines blacks were found in it. 



square ; it boasts of a good barber, a watchmaker, and an apothe- 
cary. Of course all imported articles are sold at an extravagant 
price, and considering the transport, this is not astonishing.* From 
the Bomfim the Eua do Amparo, tolerably paved, runs to the east, 
and strikes the Valley of the Eio de Sao Francisco. It passes by 
the Church of N^ S^ do Amparo — Our Lady of the Eefuge. The 
front was adorned with coloured glass lamps, and the Sunday 
morning squibs told us that a Novena was in progress there. The 
best drinking water is brought from the bottom of the ravine, 
where a few houses and huts, plantations and fields, are scattered 
about, leaving abundant building room. If not afraid of snakes, 
ticks, and thorns, you may fight your way far down the Rivulet 

My three daj^s spent at Diamantina left upon me the most 
agreeable im23ressions of its societ}^ The men are the '' frankest," 
the women are the prettiest and the most amiable that it has yet 
been my fortune to meet in the Brazil. Strangers everywhere in 
these regions receive cordial hospitahty, but here the welcome is 
peculiarly warm. Perhaps the wealth of the place has something 
to do with it. Where lodged I was at once called ui)on by some 
young men from Rio de Janeii'o, here popularly called Cometas. 
Sensible, obliging, and well-informed, they had none of that offen- 
siveness of the Em*opean Commis-voj-ageur, or travelling bagman. 
The calling is honourable as any other. It may be said with 
truth, and greatly to the credit of the Brazil, that no man feels 
degraded by honest industry, however humble. Consequently 
society ignores the mauvaise honte about professions which dis- 
tinguishes the old world, where I have seen a man blush to own 
that his father was a "doctor," and where Faraday was lauded 
because he dared to confess in public that his brother was a gas- 

My first evening was spent at the house of John Rose, a Cor- 
nishman, originally a miner at Morro Yelho, afterwards a diamond- 
digger, carpenter, mason, architect ; his last job was at the Bishop's 

* My test bottles having been broken, I bouglit — 

3 oz, muriatic acid . . . .1^040 

3 oz. nitric acid 1$040 

2 oz. tannin, in alcohol . . . 6$ 500 

Total . . . 10 $580 
At that time about one guinea. 


Palace. B3' sobriety and good conduct he has cleared some 5000?., 
and now he can amply enjoy his propensity for independence in 
word and deed. Not so pleasant was another stranger, who at 
once showed the cloven foot by loudly abusing the Brazilians, and 
b}" declarmg that they allowed none but themselves to thrive. I 
will not mention liis name, for, although he must have tm'ned the 
half-centmy, he may still find out that it is never too late to mend. 
He is a well-educated man, laiowing German and English perfectly, 
Portuguese well, French tolerably ; he can teach languages ; he can 
keep books ; of course he has a gold mine ; he has been a doctor — 
still a j)opular character ; * and he still practises homoeopathy. But 
he prefers to ''loaf about," borrowing 100 $000 from this and 
160 $000 from that acquaintance, whose charity he expends, not on 
raiment but upon drink. When in liquor he is addicted to the free 
use of knife and pistol. He attributes his habits of sleeping in the 
streets to the infidehty of his spouse. He had left her at Kio 
totally unprovided for, and she was persuaded to accept the pro- 
tection of a Portuguese, who offered to, and who did, maintain, 
educate, and settle her children. The latest little game of my 
unpleasant acquaintance has been Freemasomy, to which he has, 
for a consideration, admitted the least worth}" aspirants. He pro- 
posed, moyennant the payment of 5L, to make me a P.M., and he 
had the impudence to deliver a message from me to a certain eccle- 
siastic, begging that Freemasonry might not be jDreached against ; 
it was necessary to call, and to explain the affair. 

This man was a Hanoverian, consequently a Prussian, but he 
called himself an Englishman. Britons in the Brazil are wont to 
complain that they and the Portuguese are exceedingly unpopular. 
The fact is that we frequently suffer not only for our own sins, 
which are manifold, but for those of our European neighbours, 
which are not few. Foreigners also exaggerate our unpopularity. 
" Les Anglais sont detestes au Bresil ; on regarde comme apparte- 
nans a cette nation tons les etrangers chez lesquels des cheveux 
blonds et une peau blanche indiquent qu'ils sont origames du 

* The Diamantists did not seeto to me Ing with antl-spasniodics. In vain I 
satisfied with the gifts of their Esculapiuses, assured the patient that my favoiirite pro- 
as everjTV'here in the outer Brazil a stranger f ession was rather to kill than to cure ; he 
is expected to be a medicine-man. I was seemed satisfied that he had already run 
at once consulted for a simple hepatitis, the very greatest risk of killing without 
which the leech, after the normal treat- murder, 
ment of cupping and blistering, was attack- 

H 2 


Nord," says, in 1815—1817, Prince Max. (i. 119). M. Dulot 
(p. 62) speaks of "la brutalite traditionelle envers les faibles qui 
fait detester partout I'Angleterre ; " and here he would be justified 
if he alluded to the '' Aberdeen Bill." St. Hilaire (III. i. 219) re- 
marks that *' grace a leurs compatriotes,Mawe,Luccocket Walsh," 
the English became unpopular in the land. And it is almost a 
truism to say that if perhaps we hear too little good of ourselves 
from others, we, like other nations, hear far too much good of 
ourselves from ourselves. This puffery and clap-trap about our 
own perfections is still held to be patriotism, and at last the ** ge- 
nial, broad-shouldered Englishman" has learned to bear without 
a murmur gigantic weights of " Buncombe." * 

The Brazil, also, like other people, has met with a small 
amount of merited praise, and a large amount of unmerited 
abuse. But the travellers of one nation have hardly been more 
polite to her than those of the others. f The result of my 
experience at present is that, despite the Aberdeen Bill and the 
silly Abrantes- Christie affair, the Empire respects us, and even 
lilves us as much as, if not more than, her other visitors. It is 
not pretended that strangers are favourites anywhere in the 
Brazil ; the country expected from them far too much, and they 
justified considerably less than the most moderate expectations. 
In our case they complain of the "insular manner," now hap- 
pily waxing obsolete, as the Frenchman of Goldsmith and Sterne, 
the coarse roughness of the uneducated, X and the shy pride and 
haughty reticence of theu' " betters," are ever gall and worm- 
wood to the Brazilian spirit. And we have lost esteem by the 

* It has lately been judged advisable in Expilly, and D'Abbadie, may be quoted 

British India to consult high officials con- versus MM. Reybaud, Ferdinand Denis, 

cerning the afjpreciation of our rule by the and Liais. I cannot explain, except by the 

natives, not by ourselves. Many men, influence of an oiitrageous nationality, how 

myself included, have since 1850, written St. Hilaire (III. i. 263), defends and 

and repeated in the plainest English, what applies the terms * ' homme de beaucoup 

now comes before the public in a decorous d'esprit," to M. Jacques Arago, author of 

foolscap form. The only result was that the " Voyage autour du Monde, " and one of 

we were pronounced by the few who took the most disgraceful charlatans that ever 

the trouble of reading us, to be either appeared in the Brazil, 

ignorant or impertinent, and ignorance and + ' ' This is a free country, and any man 

impertinence in such matters can expect therefoi'e may take any freedom he likes 

very little mercy. with any other man, and protest is simjjly 

+ Nor have the French tended to im- Quixotic. But we are a coarse people." 

prove the entente coi'diale. The Comte de Thus writes a popular author, who has 

Suzannet (Souvenirs, 1842), M. de Cha- never yet been called a "degenerate English- 

vaignes (Souvenirs, j). 160), the unjustly man." 
treated M. Jacquemont, and MM. Biard, 


great country's little wars, which began the dotage of a liberal 
j)ohc3^, and which led it to shirk the duties of its position, and to 
retire from the business of the world. An Abyssmian Expedi- 
tion benefits England as much in the Brazil as m Hindostan, and 
may be pronounced to be worth the two-pence. 

I paid a visit to the Rev. Michel Sipolis, at the Episcopal 
Semmar}', the staring white building with unfinished outhouses, 
before mentioned. The Government assists the establishment 
by paying salaries for the several chairs, and the three French 
priests receive, per annum, only 400^000 for clothmg and all 
wants ; this salary of £40 must raise them above all suspicion of 
interestedness. At 1 p.m. the bell rang and we went to the 
Refectory ; there were twelve pupils, a considerable number 
during " Ipng vacation," and these young men spoke French 
during the meal, and ended it with a long prayer. M. Sipolis 
then led me to the Episcopal Palace, which is opposite the Carmo 
Church, a white building picked out with blue, j^lastered concrete 
below and boarding above. The diocese of Marianna formerly 
extended here : Pius IX. created the bishopric b}^ the Bull 
*' Gravissimum Solhcitudinis," June G, 1864. The Ex^^^ and 
Rev"'° D. Joao Antonio dos Santos,* of the Council of H. I. M., 
is an old eleve of the Caraca Seminary ; he naturally patronises, 
in preference to the Propaganda of Lyons and the Capuchins of 
Rome,f St. Vincent of Paul, who must find it hard work to 
answer all the calls upon him. The Bishop was a man about 
forty, with a gentle, feminine voice and manners : I found him 
dihgently engaged with M. Mirville on Magnetism (not Fara-. 
day's), and he did not take part with M. Sipolis when the latter 
proved to me that table-turning and " rapping " are the works of 
evil spirits. t 

From the Palace we passed over to the house of a fazendeiro, 
at whose door an Agent de Police sat comfortably in the shade. 
He had had with a neighbour some trifling dispute about a water- 

* In the Brazil it is often impossible to J Nee deus intersit, etc. 'We may add 

tell the family names of ecclesiastics, who nee diabolns. As regards the spirit theoiy 

mostly adopt some technical or theological I may again remark that, if after this life 

cognomen, somewhat after the fashion, my psyche or pnenma, or whatever it may 

though not quite in the style, of ' ' Praise- be, is to find itself at the mercy of every 

Grod-Barebones. " booby who pays half-a-crown to his or her 

t Here the Capuchins have assiuned as medium, evidently the future state of 

instructors the place held by the Jesuits. this person will be much worse than the 

I need hardly say that they have never done present. 
BO in Europe. 


course, which ended in a " shyuting," and he was expected to 
purge himself before a juiy. The antagonist having fired into 
his side and mangled his thumb, which required amputation, the 
wounded man cried out to his son, who discharged a barrel or 
two into the hostile face, and then sensibly took to the bush. 
Of course there was another and a contradictor}^ account, which 
declared that the fazendeiro had snatched the gun from his 
antagonist, and that it had exploded, hurting his hand. I 
could not but think of the true or apocryphal story touching 
Sir Walter Ealeigh and the '' History of the World : " he would 
have found it impossible to settle the rights of this little affair 
at Diamantina. 

Meanwhile the hurt man was in great pain, restless, and fear- 
ing tetanus. Yet the room was darkened, the windows were shut, 
the ail' was oppressive, five silent ladies sat pensively lookmg on, 
and just outside the doors were half a dozen muttering male 
friends. When a patient is held to be sick unto death, the 
popular Brazilian idea — of course the rare sensible scout it — 
is to visit and console and condole with him. Such an appa- 
ratus would injure the most robust ; surely it would be humane 
to pubhsh a Portuguese version of " Notes on Nursing." The 
vile Caldo de Gallinha, or hen-broth, which it is indispensable 
to swallow every two hours, is an infliction to be compared 
only with the ''beef-tea " of the old-fashioned priestess of Libi- 
tina in Great Britain. 

My last appearance in "Society" was at a ball given by 
.a wealthy widow, the Sra. D^ Maria de Nazareth Netto 
Leme, in honour of the baptism of a grandson, the second 
child of a very charming young person, wife of Sr. Joaquim 
Manoel de Vasconcellos Lessa. When this pretty lady was 
married, she was attended by twenty-four bridesmaids in 
dresses from Paris ; the merry-makmg was kept up for a fort- 
night, and it is said that 750 bottles of Bass disappeared every 
night. This rain of meat and drmk at the City of Diamonds 
is a great contrast to the ascetic '' tea and turn out " of 
Southern Europe. 

The whole of the City of Diamonds was in accurate black 
raiment before 3 p.m., the hour for the religious ceremony. As 
evening approached, I accompanied Sr. Joao Pdbeiro with the 
most amiable D^ Maria and his daughter up the Bua das Merces, 


SO called from its church, to the Alto da Gupiara.* The rooms 
were crowded, and many had sat down to a preliminary sup]3er. 
The toilettes were remarkably good, a contrast to the times 
described by Gardner, when ladies went abroad in men's hats, 
and " black seemed the most fashionable." Every neck sparkled 
with diamonds : the other ornaments were the solid and honest, 
if not tasteful, jewellery of Diamantina. The ball seemed to be 
a family party, infinite in merriment : here, as amongst the 
CathoHcs of England, all are related or connected, more or less, 
and those who are not, intend to be, or are '^ gossips." The 
dancing was chiefly quadrilles. I excused mj'self on the plea 
that my last performance had been with Gelele, King of Dahome : 
thus the proprietress of No. 14, St. James's Square wore for life 
a glove upon the hand saluted by a former Prince of Wales. 

Supper seemed never to end, and a stiff shower of rain only 
added to the mirth within. The life of the party was " O Dia- 
mantino," curtly for Sr. Jose Diamantino de Menezes, son of the 
late Barao de Arassuahy.t I stole away at 2 p.m., leaving all 
" merry and wise." This is specified, because the country mice 
around give the city mice a bad character, and declare that every 
morning the ladies and their slaves sally forth to pick up their 
husbands from the pave, where " tangle-leg " had put them to 
bed. Of this I saw nothing. 

Of course in a place where money is abundantly I spent, and 
where visitors flock in for pleasure, after the toils and the 
dulness of the out- station, there must be some debauchery. The 
many smilmg faces, protruding from small casements, cheeks 
bloommg■^^ith the juice of a certain Hibiscus and a squeeze of 
lime, tell their own tale. But such things have nothing to do 
with society. The " hell," moreover, that usually accompanies 
the modern growth of mining cities, does not exist in these 

'" I hare already explained Gupiara Avhich no one takes the trouble to dis- 

(comipted Grupiara), to mean the slope of turb. 

a tilted shed ; hence ip gold and diamond + The river rising about t^velve leagues 

diggings it is applied to a ledge projecting east from Diamantina, passing by IVIinas 

eaves-like over a stream. The Alto, seen Novas (do Arassuahy), and forming the 

from the entrance of the city, is a con- eastern gate of the Jequitinhonha. The 

spicuous hill, crowned by a building that Avord is Aracu, a kind of bird, and -hy, 

resembles a fortress or redoubt. This pro- Avater. There was also a Baron of Dia- 

perty originally belonged to Sr. Luis Anto- mantina, of the Lessa family, 
nio, and then passed to Sr. Jose Joaquim + Here, as in Australia and California, 

Netto Leme, whilome husband of the pre- the miner is mostly poor, whilst the mer- 

sent proprietrix. It is still rich in gold, chant or storekeeper is rich. 


regions, except when a stray Frenchman starts a roulette table, 
and makes his fortune after a few months. 

An Englishman, who had spent thirty years in and about Dia- 
mantina, told me that of late years its prosperity had diminished.* 
Formerl}^ diamonds were easily washed from the surface diggmgs : 
now the works are confined to capitalists. In early days the 
stones were sold in the city, at present they are sent to Rio de 
Janeiro,! and to Europe. The slaves have been traded off to the 
coffee-growing Provinces, and the free man, white or black, 
will not, or cannot work. Hence fortunes now average 4000L, 
whilst the highest may amount to 10,000/. ; these figures, 
however, represent very different values in Minas Geraes and in 

But so far from the diamonds being exhausted, I believe that 
the true exploitation of precious lithology has still to begin, and 
that it will extend 800 miles along the Serra do Espinhago.t 
There are also rich gold-diggings, which men hardly take the 
trouble to w^ork; with gold they justly say you may be poor, with 
diamonds never. § When the rail shall have reached Sahara, 
and the paddle-wheel shall connect the Rio das Vellias with the 
great Sao Francisco, the immigrant may be expected, and the 
Diamantine country will attain its full development. " The Lord 
bring them ! " say the mine-proprietors, alluding to the South- 
erners of the Union, " and they will soon use up our useless 
slaves ! " || And whilst Golconda and Visapm' have failed, and 
the Cape of Good Hope, Australia, and California are but begin- 
nmg, and whilst men sink capital in the trash manufactured in 

• Tlie population in 1800 was about begins at the Rio do Peixe, nine leagues 

5000 ; in 1840, it was 6000 ; and now it south of Diamantina, and extends to the 

is not increased. celebrated SeiTa de Santo Antonio, forty 

+ Diamond cutting was attempted with- to fifty leagues to the north, or between 

out success by a Sr. Carv^alho, at Bahia. N. lat. 16° to 19°. All was found to be 

There are three or four lapidaries at Rio de diamantine, but not continuously so, as in 

Janeiro ; the best is, I believe, Sr. Do- the Demarcation Proper, 

mingos Moitinho (at the corner of the Rua § According to Dr. Couto (p. 112), who 

d'Ouvidor and tlieRua dos Ourives). Some settled and died at *'Tejuco," the city is 

of his workmen ai-e descendants of the built upon slabs of red copper, and the 

artists brought from Portugal by D. Jo^o metal is found in the i3avement and the 

VI. The machinery is driven by an engine garden walls. 

of five-horse power. The diamond is here || ' ' The pride of man makes him love 

cut exactly as in Europe, and the Brazilians to domineer. Wherever the law allows it, 

ignore the Hat slab-like shapes of Hindos- therefore, he will generally prefer the ser- 

tan. Of late years Boston has attempted \ace of slaves to that of freemen. " (Wealth 

the industry, but it cannot, I am told, of Nations, iii. 2. ) My experience is dia- 

compete with Amsterdam. metrically opposed to this dogma of Adam 

J The portion which has been explored Smith. 


Paris and Bii'mingham, the Brazil may still hope to do great 
things in the " diamond-line." 

The somids of every city leave upon the traveller's sensorimn 
their own impression. At Diamantina my brain connects the 
clmrch-bell and the Ai'aponga, or blacksmith bird. The sharp, 
sudden cry, which to the stranger seems artificial, charms in the 
dead silence of the forest alcove, tempered b}^ the distance of the 
tallest tree-top, and when the little white form is not visible in 
the verdant gloom. Caged, and in a street, the tiling is quite 
out of place. The situation of Diamantina, as has been seen, 
renders the rumbling of the cart and the rolling of the carriage 
impossible : here, as at Sao Joao d'El-Eei, the hammock is the 
only conveyance, and it is seen in the hall of every rich house. 
As usual in the Brazilian interior, the city is guiltless of club, 
cafe. Mechanics' Institutes, Christian Young Men's Association 
and Mutual Improvement Societies, except for musical pm-poses ; 
the bands, however, are, all tilings considered, good. There is 
neither library, literary cabinet, nor bookseller, but of course 
there is a photogTapher. About three 3'ears ago, the only news- 
paper " O Jequitinlionha," which was devoted solely to politics, 
expii^ed, and now the city does not contain a printer. Yet the 
citizens — the Brazilian is a citizen, not a subject — are wild for 
education, even for church education. The "Sisters" have 
already had offers of 100, and have accepted 30 pupils. 

The site of the city is one of the highest in the Empu'e,* and 
to reach it we have ascended seven distmct gradients. The 
coldest months are June, July, and August, when fi^osts are 
common in the lower levels ; they do not, however, prevent the 
matiu'ing of the Pitanga berry, f The wet season ojiens in 
October or November, with thunder storms from the north ; the 
heaviest downfalls came from the west, but sometimes the warm 
south-west winds bring rain and hail. The fertilizing showers of 
the dries, which abound in other parts of the Brazil, are here 

* The altitude ranges, according to tra- f Tlie well-kno-mi Eugenia pednnciilata 

Tellers, between 40UU feet and 1730 (E. Michelii, Linn.), whose quadrangular 

meti-es (5702 feet) above sea level. The red fruit ripens well at Madeira, and makes 

steps of ascent from the Kio das Velhas good jellies. When raw it has a drug-like 

are seven, viz. , first, to the Paratina stream ; llavour, which is disliked by strangers. In 

second, to the Riacho do Vento ; third, to this part of Minas Greraes it is rare, but it 

the Chapada ; fourth, to the Contagem flourishes at S. Paulo, 2200 feet above 

summit ; fifth, to Grouvea ; sixth, to Band- sea level, though not so kindly as on the 

cirinJia ; and seventh, to Diamantina. coast. 


rare. Tlie east v^incl is the mildest and the most agreeable ; the 
north is cold and raw, causing sickness like om* east. From 
November to February is the hot season, and the annual range 
of the thermometer is from 64° to 88°. Water of the best quality 
is sui^phed by almost every hollow. In the clear, bracing air 
European fruits and vegetables thrive ; the soil is sometimes rich 
and deep, and the abnormal expense of provisions would make 
the neighbourhood an excellent market for an agricultural 

" Tejuco," the village in the Comarca do Cerro, became a 
Freguezia September 6, 1819, a VHla Oct. 13, 1831, and the 
Cidade Diamantina by the Provincial Law, No. 93 of 1838. It 
owes its prosperity solely to the diamond. This valuable stone 
was used, it is said, by the Indians as playthings for their chil- 
dren.* The first man who sent it to Portugal was one Sebastiao 
Leme do Prado, in 1725; he had washed certain brilliant octahe- 
drons in the Bio Manso, an influent of the Jequitinhonha. They 
found no sale, and the same happened to Bernardo (or Bernar- 
dino) da Fonseca Lobo, who hit upon a large specimen amongst 
others in the Cerro do Frio. There is a local tradition that the 
latter was a friar who had been in India, and that about 1727, 
seeing the curious, brilliant little stones used as counters at back- 
gammon by the gold miners of the Jequitinhonha, he made a 
collection of them and went to Portugal. Others attribute the 
discovery to an Ouvidor or Auditor Judge, fresh from service at 
Goa ; the specimens were sent to the Netherlands, then the great 
jewel-market of Em'ope. 

The official account of the exploitation is that D. Lourenco de 
Almeida, the first Governor of Minas Geraes (August 18, 1721 — 
Sept. 1, 1732), reported the new source of wealth to the Home 
Government. Portugal at once declared the diamond to be Crown 
property (Carta Begia, Feb. 18, 1730), and established the cele- 
brated Diamantine Demarcation, forty-two leagues in cii'cumfer- 
ence, with a diameter of fourteen to fifteen leagues.! Gold 

* It is generally s-api30secl tliat in Enropo industry had a little before tlie fourteenth 

Louis Van Berghem, popularly -written century drifted, like the cholera of modern 

Berquen (1456 — 1475), invented the prac- daj'S, "westward. 

tice of making diamond cut diamond, and + John Mawe's Map gives a sketch of the 

established a guild in Bruges. But the " Diamantine Demarcation. " It is an oval 

Hindus must have been long beforehand, of eight by sixteen leagues, and "Tejuco" 

and the working of diamonds in Europe is was nearly in the centre, 
mentioned in IbGO. It is possible that the 


digging was forbidden within the limits, and a tax of 20 g 000 — 
subsequently raised to 40 $000 and 50 $000 — was placed upon 
every head of negro. To arrest the many and repeated disorders, 
an Order, dated Sept. 30, 1733, created the " Intendencia 
Diamantina ; " the washing-grounds were marked out, and no 
one might enter without a licence. In 1740 (Henderson says 
1741), the lands were farmed out, with great restrictions, for 
138:000$ 000, but this first contract was much abused. In 1771 
(1772, John Mawe), the great Pombal reformed, with character- 
istic thoroughness, the diamond mines, b}' taking the management 
into his own hands. He abolished rumous leases, and governed 
by an Intendant- General, under whom worked a board of three 
Directors in Lisbon, and three Governors in the Brazil. The 
scheme failed, and so energetic was action against the '' extraria- 
dores," that the place became almost a desert. In 1800 to 1801 the 
gold supply began to fail, and the lands about the Villa do 
Principe, where diamantine was mixed with auriferous matter, 
3'ielded only 2| instead of 25 arrobas. Thus the Government lost 
by reducing all industry to the diamond, and the i^eople fled 
because they could not afford to buy ii'on, steel and gmi- 

I have not been able to find out exactly at what ]3eriod of Tejucan 
history occurred the event alluded to by Sr. Joaquim Norberto de 
Souza Silva : * 

E o filho de Erin, que em duros ferros 
Pagou seu pasmo por um novo imperio. 

The name given in the foot note is ^'Nicolas George." He was, 
we are told, of Irish extraction, and employed in the Junta of the 
AiTaial do Tejuco. Admiiing the fertility, the wealth and the 
vastness of the Brazil, he declared that her shores contained 
ev'erj^thing necessary for a mighty Empire, and that she might 
become free and independent as the United States. The senti- 
ment made him share the pains and penalties of the '' Conspira- 
tors of Minas." 

According to John Mawe, from 1801 to 1806, both years 
included, the expenses incurred by the Government in exploiting 

* In the Cantos Epicos — a Cabega do MartjT — 

''And Erin's son avIio in the eating irons, 
Atoned the purpose of a free-born realm. " 



[chap. VII. 

the district were 204,000/., and the diamonds sent to the Trea- 
sury amounted to 115,675 carats. During the same period gokl 
was washed and valued at 17,300Z. Thus, he saj^s, the carat cost 
23s. 9d, At length the Decree of Oct. 25 (1832) abolished the 
monopoly with its Junta Administrativa dos Diamantes, and the 
industry assumed its present form. 

If the Portuguese doubted the existence of the diamond in the 
Brazil, the English did the same. There is a difference in 
specific gravity between the noble Vieille Roche of India and the 
produce of the New World.* In the last century, Jeffries and 
other lapidaries contended that the Brazihan were unformed 
gems exported from Hindostan. The miners cleverly turned the 
tables upon their scientific antagonists b}^ sending their stones 
to Goa, whence they were forwarded as true East Indian to 

According to John Mawe, dming the first twenty years some 
1000 oz. of diamonds w^ere annually extracted from these diggings. 
Castelnau (ii. 338), in 1849, estimates the total value of the Minas 
Geraes exportation at 300,000,000 francs. The subject is also 
treated by Jose de Bezende Costa, in the Memoria Historica 
sobre os Diamantes (Bio, 1836). I will not trouble the reader 
with details, as all such estimates are the merest guess-work, and 
even the modern appliances of Custom-house collection and 
statistics are powerless against the general rule of contrabandism. 
The following table, however, taken from Mr. Nathan's annual 
report (Bio de Janeiro), will show the 





Total Value. 


. 4,6116 . 

500$000t . 



5,019 . 



. 5,824 . 



4,861 . 



. 4,962 . 



. 5,695 . 



. 5,704 . 

. 2,852,000 


al . . 36,761 


* The difference of weight is attributed to the mineral oxides that colour the stone. 
T;ie following are the popular figures : 

Grolconda (Indian). Brazilian. 

White, spec, grav, 3-524 3-442 (M. Barbot, 3-444), 

Yellow, ,, 3-556 3-520 ( ,, 3-519). 

Lapidaries generally agi-ee that the old or E. Indian diamond has more lustre and brilliancy 
than the new or Brazilian. 

t This is too low. + £1,888,000. 




Ov xiLiJ.(jjv Xvwe7 cr' ov Kavfx oil vovaos eVoxAe?, 
Oh ireivT} a* ov 5ti|/os ex^t o"'. 

Shortly after my arrival I was introduced to a Brazilian gen- 
tleman, Sr. Francisco Leite Vidigal, who lost no time in inviting 
me to visit liis " Servico," known as the Canteii'o or "pot-stand." 
This season, the height of the dries, is the best for exploring the 
diggmgs, which are now all activit3% 

AVe breakfasted perforce and set out late, although the sun is 
hot, and we had four to five leagues of total work before us. We 
rode down the Rua do Bomfim to the southern suburb, past a 
very small post-office in the Largo do Eosario, and a fountain 
with cocks sticking out of steatite faces. Here is a negro church, 
as usual mean and gaudy, and a large unfinished theatre, a carcase 
of timber and brown clay. A splendid Gamelleira fig, whose 
natural grandeur did not set off the dwarfishness of the Art around 
it, led us to a Calgada winding down a stiff descent. Here the 
site of the city falls into the riverine valley, and the slope of fine 
soil is rich in oranges, plantains, myrtles, and trees that give 
more shade than fruit. 

Beyond the bank the place is called La Pallia ; here are the 
large ranch, the venda, and the camping ground belonging to a 
Frenchman, M. Antoine Richier. I failed to find liim at home, 
but the thumbing of his photographic manuals showed an interest 
in something civilised. We then crossed a confluence where the 

110 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. viii. 

Porurnca or Pururuca,* translated " Stream of the sand and 
gravel, '* flows from the west into the little Rio de Sao Francisco. 
The banks were a mass of loose amygdaloid, pebbles of w^ater- 
rolled quartz ; and they '' paint gold," which no one cares to 
work. In the evening my host show^ed me many oitavas lying 
in the corner of his hut ; they had not even been washed for 

We then ascended to Campo ground, and struck the highway 
which leads to the Provincial Capital, via the city of Cerro, now 
Cidade do Principe, distant ten leagues.! Before us rose the 
grand Peak Itambe, said to be 6000 feet above sea level. Its 
head was in a cap of clouds, ever similar, never the same, and the 
shoulders were clad in ruddy grass and gloomy forest. On the 
eastern horizon rose the hilly mass called the Curralinho, and 
held to be very rich in diamonds. Around us w^ere outcrops of 
the usual granular quartzose Itacolumite, hard and soft, finely 
laminated or coarsely agglutinated, gre3dsli outside, and over- 
grown with lichens ; the inside is snow^-coloured or slightly yellow. 
In places the masses are horizontal, forming regular walls ; in 
others the}' become ridges of slabs disposed at every possible 
angle. During the day we saw a man in a liberty cap, a sphinx, 
a frog-like labyrinthodon, an old mutilated lion, gravestones with 
inscriptions, stones with hands, gaps, arches, circular holes, and 
every variety of outlandish shape. The degradation of this grit 
forms the frequent patches of snowy sand, which are of course 
sterile, whilst here again the red-brown soils which separate them 
are often exceptionally fertile. 

The road proved to be especially vile, and at the most pre- 
cipitous narrows we w^re certain to meet strings of horses or 
unruly mules laden with large square boxes, generally labelled 
" Louca," equivalent to '' Glass, with care." How an3'thing 
ever reaches Diamantina unbroken is be3'ond my comprehension. 

* The word is here applied to a large Cerro (or SeiTO, perhaps a more modern 

sand and pebbles, either water-rolled or form) is a rare word applied to particular 

not ; the formation is not agglutinated by places where there are lines of hills or 

l^aste or cement (gomma), and has no moimtains. Originally it signifies a hillock 

body (corpo). In the diamond mine it is or rising ground ; Constancio explains it 

more watery than the "desmonte," which "Monte Alto ;" and Moraes " Outeiro," as 

will presently be explained. well as "Monte Alto." The Cerro do 

t St. Hil. (I. i. 330) says that Cerro is Frio, which is more usual than Cerro Frio, 

more than ten leagues from Diamantina. is suj^posed to be a translation of the 

Dr. Couto (p. 1) makes it ten leagues to Tupy "Yviturui," from "Yvitu," wind, 

the south-south-west. The people say it is and " tuy " cold, 
less, but their leagues are of the longest. 


After fording siindiy streams, we crossed by a neat bridge the 
Eibeirao, called b}^ the early travellers do Inferno on account 
of the difficulties which it offered. Its soui'ce to the west is 
kno^n as "As Porteiras," and the yellow rocks and blue skies make 
it a " Rio Verde." Above the bridge were the " casas palho^as," 
the poor thatches of sape and walls of stick and clay that tell the 
presence of miners. 

Beyond the stream we found a few men tinkering up a very bad 
ascent, and we remarked with indignation a mile-post which told 
us that we had finished one league — such here are leagues — after 
two hours of sharp riding. We then pricked across a taboleiro 
coberto,* or wave of ground, beautified only bv the view. In 
addition to the fronting Itambe, we had now to the left or west 
the Maravilha, or Marvel, a local Sugarloaf, just the place where 
a Maharatha Rajah or an Abyssinian Dejaj would build his 
Durg or Amba. The Ribeirao do Palmital, bridgeless, and roll- 
ing its pellucid waters over a dwarf cliff of sandstone, veined, 
dyked, and ribboned with lustrous-white quartz, dashed to meet 
the " Rivulet of Hell." Of course a house was near the ford ; 
linen hung in the yard to dry, but no amount of shouting would 
open the door. It was the same at the next bridge, although 
near it was a large ranch and a staked camping ground. 

The hills resembled those about the Parauna River, rough 
above, whilst the lower folds were of earth, here light, there stiff. 
On the flaiiks about half-way up were zones of stone piercing the 
soil, weathered and trodden into ledges, gutters, and deep 
hollows, whilst here and there lay loose rounded boulders. The 
head was generally spread into a dwarf plateau of thin soil, with 
more or less of vegetation. On cresting a summit we suddenly 
saw across a long green valley traversed by the long red line of 
highway, the church and village of the " Marriage-maker of 
Old Women."! The place is remarkable for its order and 
industry; not a ''lost girl," I was told, can be found in it, and 
the inhabitants have many small industries. They do not care to 
work, where diamonds are, a hill of rock crystals which lies near 
their doors. When these six-sided prisms of pure silicic acid, 

* Not Tabolelra coberta as Gardner wrote. grasses. 
This '* covered plateau," a modification of + Casamenteiro das Vellias, the title 

the Campo, is thinly clad with gnarled which S. Gon^alo bears in the Brazil, 

trees ; the term is opposed to the Taboleiro John Mawe, with his usual inaccuracy 

descoberto, a formation of greater altitude, aboiit names, calls the village " San 

growing only the hardier shriibs and Gonzales." 

112 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. viii. 

terminating in hexagonal points, have unbroken pyramids, which 
is rare after traveUing, and when the interior contains the water 
of crj^stalHsation or heterogeneous bodies, the larger blocks are 
valuable as museum specimens. 

This wave of ground ended at the Corrego do Jaca (of the 
Pannier),* which boasts a small bridge. Another ridge brought 
us to the Descida do Corrego do Mel (the Descent of the Rivulet 
of Honey). On the further slope the sandstone slabs were so 
steep and slippery that my companion, a very light man, dis- 
mounted from his good new mule. When a Brazilian does this 
it is generally wise to follow his example. All the ground which 
we have traversed is rich in diamonds, but it cannot be worked 
for want of water ; near the Corrego which feeds the Rio das 
Pedras many white heaps were waiting to be washed during the 
rains. The Gurgulhoi or breccia, here sometimes so sharp 
(gurgulho bravo) that it cuts the hands, is peculiarly rich in 
stones, and about the bridge the torrent banks produce gold. 

We then turned to the left, and made two miles of "picada" 
or bridle-path. The country w^as as before rocky on both sides, 
and poorly clad. The greenest and shadiest tree was the Canella 
(Laurinea). I remarked also an abundance of the large-leaved 
Congonha do Campo (Ilicinea), and a tree with green berries, 
called by my friend '' Mata Cavallo," a general term for all things 
that bear " wild," that is to say poisonous, fruit. The herb 
called Arruda do Campo, because supposed to resemble the Euro- 
pean rue, scented or tainted the air. 

The last descent led us to the Southern Rio das Pedras, here 
running from the south. It is one of the head waters of the great 
Jequitinhonha | River, a lesser rival of the Rio de Sao Francisco 

* The Diet, explains Jacd by Cesto the old style is Gectinhonha. Tlien came 
(l>asket) de Cipos. It is more usually Gfiquitignogna, Gigtinhonha, Geqiiitiu- 
made, I believe, of woven bamboo-bark. honha, Jigitonhonha, and so forth. The 

+ The word is pronounced like, but not trivial and popular explanation of the 

written, "Gorgulho," which means a word is "Jequi tern nhonha," the fishing 

weevil (Curculio). It is described as a loose crate has caught a nhonha fish. Jequi is a 

or compact pudding of angular stones Tupy word meaning a fish trap (arma- 

mostly found in Campo gi-ound, and thus dilha). Nhonha, according to some, in the 

distinguished from the water-rolled Cas- local dialect meant any fish ; in the 

calho. Some apply the term to a collec- Lingoa Geral the word is Pyra or Pira. 

tion of Cascalho, others to a larger forma- St. Hil. (I. ii. 142) says it was explained 

tion than Cascalho. An English wi'iter on to him by une nasse (creel) pleine ; 

precious lithology has followed John IVIawe's " Juquia" being the nasse. This reminds 

misprint, which corrupted gurgulho to us of such derivations as Capivarhy from 

" burgalhao. " Capivara ahi, Arassuahy from Ouro so ahi 

* The name is written in many ways ; (gold only here), and so forth. 


(Maior). It rises a mere torrent in the mountains to the north of 
the Cidade do Principe. It is joined by many streams, amongst 
which is the Lomba or Jequitinhonha do Mato ; about two leagues 
below the Canteii'o it becomes the Jequitinhonha do Campo, and 
finally the true Jequitinhonha. According to others, the Southern 
Eio das Pedras is the Upper Jequitinhonha do Mato, which, after 
receiving the Pibeii'ao do Inferno, is the Jequitinhonha, and 
absorbs the Jequitinhonha do Campo. The course of this river, 
which upon maps looks so well, is said to be much obstructed by 
rapids. I have not -visited it. At last it takes the name of Rio 
Grande, divides into several arms, unites with the Hio Pardo, forms 
a delta, and buries itself in the Atlantic about forty-five miles 
north of Porto Seguro in the Province of Bahia. 

After six hours' work we entered the little mining station of a 
dozen huts, built upon a rough stubby slope that lines the left 
side of the Rio das Pedras. Under the cii'cumstances, a " Roxo 
forte," or cup of cafe noir " laced " -^ith rum, was excusable ; this 
taken, we went off without further dela}^ to inspect. 

AVe began mth the beginning, a proceedmg which, say the 
Germans, we English rarely adopt. The descent to the mine is 
a narrow unrailed path, winding down the precipitous left bank 
of the Rio das Pedras. It was crowded with double meeting 
lines of black and whitey-brown labourers, free as well as ser- 
vile, whom the presence of the master had galvanized into a 
momentary *' spui't." Those ascending carried on theii* heads 
Carumbes, or cedar-wood platters, about twice the size of soup- 
plates, containing " desmonte,"* or the useless sand and gravel 
which is washed down by the gi'eater inundations of the year, 
and which underhes and overlies the strata of true diamantiferous 
Cascalho. Planks, rough ladders, and incHned planes, led to the 
bottom of the long pit, whose southern extremity was 80 feet 
deep by 19 to 20 broad. It was evidently the river bed in bygone 
ages before the channel was filled up to its present height. Each 
talliiao, or rock- wall of the underground channel, was wonderfully 
worked into pit holes and convex ciu'ves, regular as though the 
latter had been used, by the grinding action of gravelly water, "f 

* Desmonte is sand and gravel, with. calho. In Portugal it is synonymous with 

more or less consistency (liga). In gold "rocar" or "desmoutar," to clear the 

mining "desmontar" — literally to nn- land for cultivation. 

mount — is to remove the vegetation and f We shall find many of these " jjit- 

the humus from over the auriferous cas- holes" in the bed of the Sao Francisco River. 


These are the richest pockets, and each may yield a hundred contos 
of reis. The hanging wall, and the loosened blocks on the sides, 
were carefully timbered wherever a joint was inclined to open. 

The negroes, watched by overseers stationed at every angle, 
w^ere removing, with the usual merry song, the valueless stratum 
under which they expected to find the gem-bearing yellow 
Cascallio. Some bored, others broke away the interfering rock 
with huge pyramidal-headed crow-bars (alavancas). These 
loosened the gravel with the almocafre, * an oval-shaj)ed, blunt- 
headed iron, whose handle was about two feet long ; those 
scraped out of the fendas or fissures the likely sand, with an 
" almocafre de frincha," a bent blade one inch broad by four to 
six in length. I was shown in situ the curious formation called 
" Canga preta," which is found in hundreds of pounds' weight, 
though rarely of large size. At first it was mistaken for coal, 
but it became red-hot in the fire without being consumed. It 
looks fibrous, like asbestos, and in appearance much resembles 
graphite. Here also are found loose fragments of polished sand- 
stone, tm'ned by the water into curious shapes. I saw a child's 
foot perfectly imitated, and many leg bones and shoulder blades 
were of monstrous size. 

All this work is going on far below the water level. A 
strong dyke of ashlar and earth has been run out from the right 
bank to the mid-stream of the Bio das Pedras, which here runs 
from south-east to north-west, bending north. Above the pit 
the waters are all collected into solid wooden launders, some 400 
feet in length. The trough bifmxates below the mine ; one fork 
discharges its load of foaming yellow water into the lower 
channel ; the other turns a wheel which works the syj^hons and 
drawing pump, f — a '' sack " or wooden tube, with leather joints, 
which should be replaced by caoutchouc. + The mine, though 
somewhat wet, is thus kept in order. 

The name is " Cakleiroes, " not " Calclrones, " Ij: In this part of the Brazil several 

as John Mawe writes ; he justly, however, trees are supposed to be capable of 

describes them as " les creux, qiii etaient supplying caoutchouc. In 1785 — 1787 

auparavant des remous"(ii. chap. 2). Ferreira noted the "India rubber" of the 

* Not Amocafra as written by Castelnau. Hancornia speciosa. " Resina elastica 

Tavernier mentions ' ' little iron rods bent e concrete succo lacteo arbor vulgo Man- 

at the end," and used to " draw diamond gabeiras — in hac observantur proprietates 

sand and earth from the veins. " ususque gummi elastici." The peojjle 

t The usual pump is called Bomba, the seem to think highly of this source of 

one above mentioned is known as Buxa caoutchouc. I do not. 
de Saco. 


These works must be renewed every year. At the end of the 
dries the moveable plant is taken down for use dui-mg the next 
season. In November, when the rains set in, the dam is swept 
away ; the height of the inundation here averages twenty-five to 
thirty feet, and has risen to fort}". The uncertainty of the 
seasons renders diamond mining far more precarious than any 
other industry which depends upon the weather. Of course, the 
longer the dries last the better ; and miners gratefully remember 
1833-4, whose prolonged drought followed closely the Anno do 
Eato, or Eats' year, when those rodents appeared in swarms. * 
Usually the wet season ends in April ; in 1867, however, showers 
fell even in July. This incertitude, combined with many other 
hazards, serves to explain the gambling nature of the pursuit. 
** If I hit upon a pocket of diamonds," said an Englishman to 
me, " I will go home next year." But the " if" points to a con- 
tingency far less to be expected than breaking the bank at Baden- 

In former days, the diamond diggers, like the gold diggers, 
contented themselves with washing the rich superficial Cascallio ; 
after which they removed to another place. It is but a short 
time since " deeper winnings " have been commenced, and the 
originators had to endure the usual amount of ridicule, in addition 
to the great expense. They have now silenced the laugh by 
winning the day : the " old school " revenges itself by predicting 
that the " luck " cannot last. This Canteu'o mine was held to be 
exhausted, valueless, when Sr. Vidigal, who deserves to become a 
Podre de Eico,f took it in hand. A most energetic and pro- 
gressive man, he ventured ^66000, here a fortune, before getting 
the mine into proper working order. Some 6400 pounds of 
gunpowder are annually expended in blasting. The outlay 
during the last year was 25: 000 ^'000, and the income was 
80 : 000 $ 000 ; this year it may rise to 100 : 000 $ 000. 

My host employs dm'ing the digging season 300 slaves, worth 
£120 to £150 per head. The hii-e of each hand, food included, 
is about 1 $ 200 per day, and the monthly expense is £750. As 
is general amongst Brazilians engaged in any pm^suit that 
requii^es head-work, Sr. Yidigal complained bitterly of the servile 

* In parts of tte Brazil rats are sup- f " Rotten with riches," an expressive 

posed to swarm every seventh year, when conversationalism. 
the bamboo flowers. 

I 2 

116 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. viii. 

labour-market ; lie wishes to dig by night as well as by day, but 
the smallness of his gang compels him to begin at six a.m., and 
to end at six p.m. Another especial grievance is the prevalence 
of theft. Some mine owners go so far as to declare that almost 
all the finest stones disappear. A receiver of stolen goods settles 
near every new digging, as surely as a public -house follows the 
Hydropathic EstabHshment; and here, as elsewhere, the broker 
is generally richer than the diamond proprietor. President 
Jefferson, of Virginia, desired that a sea of fire might roll 
between Em^ope and the United States. Sr. Vidigal would 
prefer, and justly, to see a tunnel or a bridge. 

The desmonte which we have just seen carried up in platters 
is disposed of in the readiest and most suitable way. AVhen the 
rich Cascallio, * or Canga, t is struck, the labourers transport it 
up the left bank, and dispose it in heaps (amontoadas) near the 
Lavadeiro, or washing place. In this shed I at once recog- 
nised the drawing familiar to my childhood, and copied from 
John Mawe into every popular book of travels. I remembered 
the long thatched roof of the Mandanga mine, with a stream 
of water passing through a succession of lengthy boxes ; the 
four inspectors in straw hats perched upon the tallest of stools, 
and armed mth the terriblest of whips ; whilst the white-kilted 
sable washers, in a vanishing line, bent painfully to their tasks, 
and one of them, in an unpleasantly light toilette, was throwing up 
his arms, to signify *' Eureka." It was written that " when 
a diamond is found weighing seventeen and a half carats (my in- 
nocence did not remark that "half"), the negro is entitled to his 
liberty — is crowned with flowers, and is entitled through life to 
look for diamonds on his own account." How I used to sympa- 
thise with that happy black person, little thinking in my 
simplicity, as does many a philanthropist, that he was likely to 
die an early death from a disease which may be described as con- 
sisting mainly of want, drink, and debaucher}^ ! 

* Generally called " Cascalho corrido" ferruginous, shining, metallic coat which 

(water-washed), opposed to Cascalho gives to it a name. It is eminently diaman- 

virgem, the pudding stone. Its substance tiferous as well as auriferous. M. Sipolis 

is quartz of many varieties and colours, showed me a fine stone embedded in it, of 

clear as crystal, yellow-white, slightly course the result of water washing. This 

transparent, ojjaque and dark. amygdaloid has always consistency or body 

+ The Canga of Diamantina is a con- (corpo). When broken up it becomes 

glomerate of quartz, mica, and other com- " gurgulho de Canga." For other par- 

ponents pasted together with red-yellow ticulars, see Vol. I. chap. 21. 

iron clay, and covered with the dark, ** Canga," in its agglutinated form, is 


The reaKty of the Lavadeiro is an open thatched ranch, built 
"convenient" for the master's eye, and one end, which is slightly 
depressed, is set off for the use of the panner. The total length 
may be 35 to 40 feet by one-thu'd of that breadth ; but the size 
is of course proportioned to the number of washers at the 
Canteii'o. One of the long sides is occupied by a line of nine 
" bacos," * three-sided troughs of rough wood ; the poorer owners 
make them of flat stones, clay slates, or slabs of the granular, 
quartzose and laminated Itacolumite. The troughs are each four 
feet long, three feet broad, and one deep ; they open with a little 
slope towards the inside of the shed, where the water is, and 
there is a cross piece to arrest the heavier material. 

As the Brazil borrowed her gold mining through Portugal from 
the Romans, so she has taken her system of diamond washing 
from Hindostan.f There the season was in January when the 
rains had ceased, and the rivers ran clear. The diamantine 
earth was carried into an enclosm'e, surrounded by a wall from two 
spans to two feet high, with little di-ains at the foot ; this served 
as a "baco" or ''batedor." Water was added, and the mixture 
was left for a day or two till it became mud. The mass was 
again watered, and loaded with soil to press down the mud, after 
which the di-ains were opened, and the earthy matter flowed off. 
The residuum of gravel was again covered with water if not clean ; 
when diy it was sifted in baskets like gi'ain for the sand to drop 
through. It was retm'ned to the enclosm'e, spread out with a 
rake, and beaten with long staves or wooden pestles ; pebbles had 
been used, but they flawed the stones. After this it was resifted, 
spread out again, and collected in one spot, when the diamonds 
were picked from it. I 

The washing here begins with the rains about November. The 
upper parts of the troughs are charged with Cascalho, and a hand 
standing before the open end or at the side of each *' baco " 
dashes water from a shovel, often a bit of wooden platter, upon 
the contents ; he then sths with the fingers the mass to relieve 
it of the wortliless earth, dust and clay, till the water runs 

often applied, says Dr. Couto, to oclires of larger, often three yards long by two 

copper. When Mr. Emmanuel writes broad. 

*'Takoa Carza," I presume that he means f The stone there occurred in soil, 

"Taua," felspathic clay, and "C^nga." gravel, and silicious grit (Itacolumite?) 
. * These in older books are called Guy- t I>r. Jobn Francis Gemelli Careri's 

acaa ; they seem to have been then made Voyage round the "World. 1683. 

118 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL, [chap. viii. 

clear, and this washing may be repeated. Thus a pocket of 
diamonds is sometimes, but very rarely, hit upon. The fortunate 
slave no longer claps his hands in the old style of signal. He 
may receive his freedom after finding a stone weighing more than 
an oitava and a half; not by law, however, but in order to 
encourage the other labovu-ers. 

This prehminary ended, the Cascalho, now technically called 
*' areas " or sands, is made over to the panner. His implements 
are two wooden basins like those used in gold-washing. The 
peneu^a or sieve-pan is fitted at the bottom with a bit of tin 
pierced with holes, averaging six to the inch, and arresting stones 
of one vintem (half a carat) ; the sizes, however, vary as required. 
The other is the common batea with the central depression (piao) 
into which the diamond, like gold dust, sinks by its superior 
specific gravity. 

The washing (lavagem) begins in the batea. It is charged with 
the rich Cascalho, mixed with sand and water to form a paste in 
which the gem will sink ; the usual rotatory motion is given to 
the pan, the surface water is pom-ed off and the upper useless 
matter is removed with tho hand, more water is added, and the 
operation continues. The next process is sifting (peneirar), the 
pierced pan being held over the other batea. After this the finer 
sand which falls into the under pan is washed and becomes 
" corte," from " cortar," to cut or stop. When washed once 
more it is "recorte." The gravel may be thus treated a dozen 
times or more, and precious stones, of course very diminutive, 
will still be found in it. A good washer takes from half to three- 
quarters of an hour in order to exhaust a single pan-full. After 
sifting the sand is called no longer areas, but canjica grossa, and 
the pieces are smaller in the latter than in the former. 

Magnifying glasses are not yet in use, yet they would save 
much trouble and prevent loss. The present rude system is very 
severe upon the sight, which soon fails ; past twenty-five few 
eyes can be trusted, and children are always the best washers.* 
It is during this treatment that robberies are mostly effected. 
Few swallow the diamond, not because it is considered poisonous, 
as by the Hindu,! but on account of the difficulty of doing so 

* Thus in Hindostan Tavernier tells us the boy purchasers and their boy principal, 
that children were the best judges of the f The Hindus, it is well known, con- 
water, weight, and clearness of the dia- aider powdered diamond to be a deadly 
mond ; he gives a pleasant description of poison, and all old Indians remember the 


unobserved. In India the miner jerked the stone into his mouth, 
or stuck it m the corner of his eye ; twelve to fifteen overseers 
Tvere requii'ed per gang of fifty Hght-fingered men. The civilized 
thief pretends to be short-sighted, and picks up the i^lunder with 
his tongue -tip. A favourite way is to start as if fi'ightened by a 
snake, and thus to distract the attention of the superintendent, 
who, if '^ clever," is wide-awake to the trick. Most of the stones 
disa23pear by being tilted or thi'own over the Hp of the pan duiing 
the washing, and are picked up at leism'e.* They are easily sold 
to the huckster, the pedlar, or the keeper of the nearest groggery. 
Thus may be explained the number of slaves who have purchased 
theu' liberty and taken to the bush. Even the white man has 
owned that his first imjDulse is always to secrete the diamond. 

In the evening I met Mr. Thomas Piddington, a Cornishman, 
who, thirty-two years ago, came out as a miner, and who dming 
upwards of a generation has not seen his wife or children. Yet, 
to do him justice, he always talks of returning " home," and 
perhaps he might do so, but for an unhapj^y habit of being 
generous to the extent of double his means. He has tm^ned his 
hand to and from everything between a pump and a bridge, and 
he is generally consulted in their difficulties by the mine-owners 
of all the countr}^ side. A fine-looking man, with straight features 
and jovial countenance, he is still the model of a Britisher, and 
he would hardly be persuaded that I was not an American ; in 
fact he probably still preserves liis opinion. He urged me to 
visit one of his chums, a ^Ir. Aaron, who is diamond washing 
at Quebra Lenha near the Santa Cruz village, on the Jequitin- 
honha Paver, twenty-tln-ee leagues from Diamantina. Tune, not 
inclination, was wanting to me. 

The night was cold, the stream was dark and suUen, and heavy 
clouds gathered in the north, making my host look glum ; a few 
showers at this season are sadly damaging to the owners of 
diamond mines. On the next morning we arose early, for we 
had hard work " cut out " for us. After coffee we rode down the 
very rugged and troublesome left bank of the Rio das Pedras ; a 
shorter and better path runs along the right. Close to the Can- 
case of the great Commissariat Agent who abrading the surface which it touches, 
came into coua-t with a small packet under I have known cases in which the latter has 
his waist-shawl, determined to swallow it been tried in the Brazil, 
if cast in his suit. It can only act me- * Many a wager has shown that the 

chanically like coarse powdered glass, for- black can rob his master under the latter's 
merly given to dogs as an anthelmintic, by eyes. 

120 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. viii. 

teiro is a smaller ''Service," also belonging to my friend Vidigal; 
at this season it employs about a score of slaves. Above it is a 
good site for a liouse, with the essentially useful capability of 
overlooking the work ; but my host is a philosopher, satisfied 
with his hut as long as it brings money ; he will never have a 
better building until it is built for him. The country here is 
pretty, and the contrast of blue sky, white sands, and a profusion 
of the purple Quaresma, wliich grows about in clumps, makes it a 
Wady in the waste. The land, where not stony, is productive, as 
was proved by the fields around the Fuba Mill. My guide 
pointed out to me certain red cuts and spoil banks at the bottom 
of a small Guj^iara on the further side of the stream. Here, some 
years ago, one Jose Joaquim da Souza saw the true diamond 
formation tlu'own to the sm-face outside the nest of the large 
plantation ant (Atta cephalotis, the Tao of the Tupys and the 
Formiga da Eoga of the Brazil). Before purchasing the ground 
he cleared 150 oitavas (nearly four lbs.) of diamonds, and at his 
death he left ^6000. 

After half an houi' we forded the Rio das Pedras, a notoriously 
dangerous stream : but lately it had drowned two boys. I readily 
recognised from afar our destination. The house looked neat, 
and the orchard- garden, rich in oranges and other fruits, was 
prettily laid out; in fact there was some flavour of the old country, 
pleasm^able — when not too strong — in a new land. The most 
curious growth is the Cipo Jiboia,* the ''boa," or "snake" 
creeper, so called from its form ; the juice they say forms excel- 
lent cement, and cracked cliina mended with it will, when thrown 
on the ground, fracture in another place. This would be a boon 
to many a notable house-wife. 

Dr. Dayrell, my countrj^man, of Barbadoes family, originally 
from Bucks, can correct Rokeby in the matter of his ancestor 
" Wild Darrell " of Littlecot Hall, who burned the baby. After 
taking a London degree and marrying, he came out in 1830 to 
the Cocaes Company, and he can tell many a curious tale touching 
the early mines. For the last thirty years he has been settled at 
Diamantina, where a large family of sons and daughters has gi'own 
up around him, and where, much to the detriment of his professional 
prospects, everybody is now his " gossip." He has a house in 

* Or Giboia, the boa constrictor, from "ji" or "gi," an axe, and *'boia" or 
" boya," a serpent, because it is supposed to strike like a hatchet. 


the city, and a fazenda of some 1200 acres ; all his sons have 
found employment, and he looks with indifference even at the 
prosi3ect of becoming lord of the old manor-house. 

Dr. Dayrell kindly consented to accompany us, threw his 
holsters across the mule saddle, and whistled his dog, a half-bred 
Enghsh mastiff of the Morro Yelho breed, now mifortimately 
becoming extinct. He had learned to be cautious, ha\ing been 
twice shot at in the Serra de Grao Mogor, once by mistake and 
once with malice prepense. We rode down the right bank of the 
Eio das Pedras to a little Lavra where one of the doctor's sons, 
Mr. Felisberto Dayrell, was working with a score of hands. The 
property is hii'ed and has produced daily 2 $ 000 per head ; with 
industry and economy it may turn out well. The '' Corrida" is 
a miniature of the Canteu'o mine ; there is the dam, but of trifling 
size, and the pit is still very shallow. 

Beyond this point we found the road rough, and the river 
valley much turned up. After about a league we reached the 
Ponte de Santo Antonio, named after a rich Corrego, which has 
caused the gi'owth of an AiTaial. The troughs worked last year 
by Sr. Antonio Baptista still lay on the gTound. The Corrego do 
Mel joins the Eio das Pedras above this Devil's Bridge, and the 
joint channel is liideous with jagged cruel rocks extending almost 
across. The blocks are of the hardest crystalline Itacolumite, 
showing a distinct cleavage : one kind is the green (Cabo verde), 
whilst the other has a ruddy, pui'plish blush, the effect of ii'on. 
Both glitter and sparkle with mica. 

Accompanied by Mr. Carlos Dayi'ell, another of the scions, we 
reached the Barra da Lomba Mine. This Servigo, worked by the 
concessionists, Jose Bento de Mello, Jose Juliao Dias Camargos 
and others, deservedly enjoys a high reputation. During the last 
year a single share jdelded forty-one oitavas, or above five ounces, 
worth £4000. The system was that of the Canteii'o, but the 
works are lai'ger, the pit is deeper, and the labour is more dan- 
gerous. The dam extended half across the Eio das Pedras, here 
a much more important stream, and cut off the water from the 
excavation on the left. I descended about 180 feet along a 
slope of 45° — 50°, and found the subterraneous part very narrow 
and close, as the workmen were obliged to use lights, and those 
lights were torches. 

The Lomba was unwatered by a pump which John Mawe 

122 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. viii. 

sketcliecl in 1801, and wliicli Caldcleugh compared with the irri- 
gators of China. This Caixao de Rosario, or Macacu,* borrowed 
from the Himde, or Hundslauf of Freyberg, is on the principle 
of elevating-buckets : squares of wood disposed at intervals in 
endless string, passing up a long narrow trough, which they fit 
tightly, and worldng over the axle of a water- driven wheel, raise 
the drainage. As I have before remarked, the only labour-saving 
machine bequeathed by Portugal to the Brazil is the wretched 
old Monjolo-mill, rudest of Oriental contrivances. The art of 
mechanics is at as low an ebb as on the southern shores of the 
Mediterranean, and we still recognise the apphances described by 
Piso and MarcgTaf in 1658. I found in the most civilized 
diamond- diggings of Minas Geraes no trace of kibble, crane and 
pulley, or rail, no knowledge of that simplest contrivance a 
tackle ; the negro was the only implement, and he carried as 
much as a schoolboy would stuff into his pockets — a pair of 
buckets would have done the work of a hundred such men. 
Even the Hindus used great wooden wheels turned by hand 
labour to work the steel plates upon which the diamond was 
cut. Important improvements, however, can come only from the 
example of a more constructive race. I was asked my opinion 
about the system, and suggested a few of the simplest modifica- 
tions ; they were fomid to be unpractical, and did not meet with 
favour. In this point many Brazilians resemble the phreno- 
logical patient, who will swallow unmoved the largest draughts 
of " soft sawder," but who makes wry faces when it is sug- 
gested that a single organ may be "somewhat deficient in 

We breakfasted at the Lomba with new appetite. The meal 
is usually eaten at a late hour by mine -owners and diamond- 
diggers, who give the greater part of the forenoon to then' work. 
The style is very patriarchal. The head man sits at the tojo of 
the table and drinks from a silver cup, whilst all his overseers are 
ranged along the sides, and disappear immediately after cofi'ee. 
Despite the " difference " about machinery there was no want of 
cordiahty on the part of my hosts. 

From this Servi9o we made for Diamantina by a vile line some 

* Former travellers describe tlie Ma- French Edition, has given a sketch of the 
c&cu as a " series of wooden cogs passing machine, 
up a square trough." Mawe, vol. i., 


twenty miles long, leaving the highway on the w^est. Happily 
for me I was mounted upon a mule as good for bad as it was bad 
for good, roads — not an unfrequent case. The only bridge was 
broken, and the muds were deep ; the bridle-path was all up and 
down, and the banks were unpleasantly steep. The vegetation, 
Peroba and Copahyba, Monjolo and Brauna,* seemed to be as 
hard and stony as the soil, here justifying the popular belief in 
the concomitance — or perhaps I should say, the consequence. 
We passed to the left of the Maravilha, or Wonder-Mountain, 
wliich here appeared to be divided into two lumps. That to 
the north-west had a sheer fall of immense height, a grim, 
dark wall, up which only an insect could creep; fi'om the 
south-east the ascent is probably easy. At the base were 
white holes and heaps awaitmg the rains, and the summit 
was feathered with vertical slabs of stone emerging firom the 
thin scrub. 

Under a broiling sun we pm'sued our way over 'the barren hills 
that bear the diamond. We passed sundiy forlorn-looking 
thatched hovels, at this season all deserted. The first stood 
near the Ribekao do Inferno, where certain wet-weather diggings 
called Mata-Mata,f belong to Sr. Jose Juliano and Company. 
The next were the washings on the tributary Ribeirao do Pal- 
mital ; they are the property of the Collector Sr. Yenancio 
Morao. Shortly afterwards we struck the southern highway by 
which we had left Diamantina, and between the gloaming and the 
mirk we found ourselves once more imder the hospitable roof of 
Sr. Joao Eibeii'o. 

After this experience of two days we may venture to set right 
Mr. Harry Emanuel, who, in his carefully written book, I almost 
ignores the Diamantine formations of Minas Geraes in favour of 
Bahia. Thus for the last thi-ee years the cotton of Sao Paulo 
has, much to the disgust of the Paulistas, appeared in the London 
market misnamed " Rio Cotton." § Minas began her labours 

* Often written Grauna. The latter is J Diamonds and Precious Stones, by 

also tlie name of a bird -with shining Harry Emmanuel, F.E.Gf.S. London : 

black plume, from Gruira (avis) and una Hotten, 1865. 

contracted from pixuna (nigra). § "Provinces like Sao Paulo, where a 

t ' ' Lorsque Ton decouviit des diamans foot of ground had never before been 

daus cet endroit, le peuple s'y precipita en planted mth cotton," says Prof. Agassiz 

foule ; des rixes s'engag^rent, et de 1^ (A Journey in Brazil, p. 508), But the 

vient, dit-on, le nom de IVlatamata (Tue- Province of Sao Paulo has ever been cele- 

tue)." St. Hil. (II. i. 64), from Spix and brated for her cotton cultivation. 
Mart. Reise i. 452. 

124 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. viii. 

with the seventeenth century, and in 1732 the Lisbon fleet car- 
ried to Europe 1146 ounces of precious stones. We read (p. 59) 
*'In 1754 a slave who had been working at (?) the Minas Geraes 
was transferred to the district (?) of Bahia," and that thus emi- 
gration set in and exploitation began. But the great Province 
of Baliia commenced to work her Chapada or diamantine plateau 
only in 1845 — 1846. In the same page we find " the most 
productive district is at the present time the Province of Mato 
Grosso, in the vicinity of the town of Diamantma." Tliis must 
refer to the city which we have just visited in Minas Geraes; 
the Mato Grosso diggings are called (Rio, Arraial or Sertao) 
*'Diamantino." * 

* Memorias Historicas (Pizarro, ix. 19, 20, 21, &c.). 




" C'est dans ces lieux sauvages que la Nature s'etait plu a cacher la pr^cieuse 
pierre qui est devenue pour le Portugal la source de tant de richesses." — St. Hil. 
II. i. 2. 

Mr. Gordox had supplied me with " recommendations " to the 
brothers Lieutenant-Colonel Felisberto Ferreira Brant, and Major 
Jose Ferreira Brant. The family is descended from an ancient 
governor-at-arms of Bahia, and, as may be seen in Southey and 
St. Hilaire,* has taken a prominent part in the exploitation of 
diamonds. The Major has a store at Diamantina, and the 
Lieutenant- Colonel, during the temporary absence of his son-in- 
law, superintends the important digging of Sao Joao. It hes 
north-north-west of the city. I was threatened with the worst of 
journeys, but the reply was, " There is no good pasture or bad 
road in the diies ; there is no bad pasture or good road in the 

About noon I set out, '' convoyed " for a short distance by 
Major Brant ; M. SipoHs had half agreed to join me, when the 
theft and flight of the negro slave-cook who fed the Episcopal 
Seminary required his presence at home. Passing through the 
Curral and by the Alto da Cruz, where the prospect was the 
more enjoyable because now I understood its details, we struck 
the high road to the west of the city. A party of yomig chas- 

* Joaqnim and Felisberto Caldeira Minas Geraes, and botli were bound to 

Brant, says Sonthey (iii. 624), were rich organise a " Serrigo " of 200 negroes to 

miners of Paracatu. Under the Count de work the two Diamantine Rivers of Goyaz. 

Bobadella, the second became the Third Felisberto, acciised of malversation, died 

Administrator of Diamonds in Tejuco of in prison at Bahia. 


seurs, with guns thrown across their shoulders, was leisurely 
sloping along. An over-love for "sport" has done as much 
harm in the Brazil as the ridiculous " sparrow clubs " of a former 
day threatened to do to England. I have mentioned the preva- 
lence of the ant plague since the ant-eater has been killed out, 
and the destruction of bii'ds has increased the host of Carrap^tos. 
The scenery, too, has lost in artistic beauty ; the brilliant birds, 
as the Arara (Macaw), have disappeared from the coast, and taken 
refuge in the Far West. It is to be desired that amateurs would 
give ear to the sensible advice of Padre Correa, and attack vipers 
and jaguars, instead of slaughtermg the Tanager and the Orpheus- 

The cantonnier is not abroad in this part of the Brazil. The 
ascents and descents over the normal waves of ground, subtended 
by streams in sandy or rocky beds, with pure water or current 
dyed slate-colour by the washer,* were of the worst. The land 
was by no means deserted ; many little mining stations were 
scattered about, and frequent snowy heaps denoted '' Servigos." 
At 2.15 P.M. old Ferreu-a and I crossed the Corrego dos Morrin- 
hos, and halted for coffee at the nearest ranch. The mistress of 
the house sat coiled up on her bed like a Hindostani woman, but 
her extreme communicativeness, and an approach to what we call 
*' chaff," made up for want of graceful posture. The semi-Oriental 
and old Portuguese reserve begms to vanish as w^e enter the 
interior, and to a Northron the effect is decidedly pleasant. I 
did not ask the names of host or hostess, as they openly told me 
that I was the Chief of Pohce from Ouro Preto, and they were 
most anxious to know my business. They laughed to scorn the 
idea of my being an Englishman. '' If this be true," they asked, 
*' how is it that you do not know ' Nicholas,' t your countryman, 

* The drainage is to the Rio Penheiro, cially in the case of northern strangers, 

which falls into the Jequitinhonha, six whose cognomens are so often iini^ro- 

leagues below Diamantina. On the left nounceable by southern organs ; and thus 

bank of the Ribeirao dos Caldeiroes is the the foreigner is perpetually in a fix. 

Servigo known as the Retiro de Joao Vieira. Even neighbours who have known one 

The next important stream is the Corrego another for years often ignore all but the 

da Prainha ; then comes the Corrego da Se- prenomens. The practice is of old date, 

pultura, an ill-omened name, common here. " Quinti," puta, aut " Publi," gaudent 

+ Amongst the Southern Latin races pr^enomine molles 

generally, and especially the Hispanian, Auriculae.' 

the individual is known by his Christian The surname also was rarely used 

name only ; and as this must be taken amongst us in the days of the Plantagenets, 

from some saint, and as saints are few, and until the last fifty years the Christia,n 

nicknames are common. The family name, name was that of the people in certain of 

which we use, is mostly neglected, espe- our rural districts. 


who is living within musket shot of us ? " He was, they in- 
sinuated to me, one of the " perdidos," the lost ones, a poor 
wretch who spent his life in squalor and in liquor, when obtained 
by some i)recarious job. However, they gave me a good brew of 
coffee, and sent us on our way rejoicing. 

We then crossed a long plain, a most likely place for game : 
only one Campeu-a, or prairie deer (Cervus campestris), showed 
at a considerable distance ; giving good venison, it is much 
hunted. Castehiau mentions the Campeko, and Prince Max. 
(iii. 109) suggests that it may be the Mataconi of Humboldt, the 
Cerf du Mexique (C. mexicanus) of natm-alists, and the Guazati 
of Azara, who speaks of a white variety (albino ?). It prefers 
plains to forests, and runs with frequent bounds. The size is 
about that of the roebuck ; the tail is short, and the coat is a 
reddish brown. Here the people declare that it is the female of the 
Gallieu'o, whose large antlers prevent it from entering the bush, 
and whose fiesh is fetid. It is the (Ju^uapara* of the Tupys, 
and the Guazupucu of Azara ; according to the older TVTiters, it 
attacks man at certain seasons. This deer haunts the prairie and 
the marsh. It is short tailed, and about the size of a yearlmg 
calf. Its flesh is eaten in January, February, and March, after 
which it is said to be offensive. The favourite form is "Mo- 
quendo,"t roasted on the embers. The Mateiro, or forest deer, 
the Guazupita of Azara, called by the Tupys " Cua9u rete," or 
*'true deer," is of all the most common species; it is white 
tailed, and stands about the height of a sheep; the dry, hard, 
lean flesh much resembles that of the cow (Carne cle Yaca), 
especially the old cow. The Catingueii^o, Hterally the Stinker! 
(C. simpHcicornis), the Guazubira of Azara, lives, like the pre- 
ceding, in woods and weU-clothed valleys. It is supposed to shed 

* More correctly 9Tia9u-ap^ra, a word their huts. Hence is derived the Brazilian 

applied to both sexes. The Tiipy Diet. " moquem " and the verb Moquiar (St. 

declares that it has large horns, and feeds Hil. III. i. 269), synonymous with the 

in the Campos. boucan of the buccaneers. Moquem has 

t Amongst the Botocudos, '* bacan," become the name of many country places 

pronounced "bacoun," meant flesh, and in the Empire. 

the Tupys had '' mocaem," to toast in the X So the word was explained to me by 

flame. In Tupy also, according to Sr. J. Dr. Alexandre. The Tupy Diet, writes 

de Alencar, Bucan was the implement wdth (^vi?i(}<x-Q,a.Sii\ng?i, the deer of the second 

which meat was roasted, and the origin of growth (Mato rasteiro). St. Hil, (I. i. 

the French boucaner. The indigenes 337) makes the fetor proceed from " une 

smoke-dried their meat-provision for matiere d'un vert noiratre que remplit une 

journeys or campaigns by hanging it upon cavit^ profonde que Ton trouve entre les 

a little gallows over a wood fire, or by deux sabots des pieds du derriere. " 
suspending it to the fuliginous thatches of 


its very short, straight, branchless horns ; it is dock-tailed, and 
the brown-coated body is apparently too heavy for the slight legs, 
which are disposed at an angle fitting the animal for long high 
buck-jumps. In shape it resembles the Pallah, or hog deer of 
Sindh, and even the Brazilian rodent " Paca " (Coelogenys Paca). 
Besides this, I heard of a marsh deer (C. paludosus), the Quagii- 
pucu), sometimes erroneously written Guacu pucu, and the rare 
Bira, a small red deer which is said, when pursued, to leap upon 
a tree branch. But the fallow deer mentioned by Mawe have not 
yet been discovered, nor have the antelopes which Koster has 
placed in the New World.* 

Creeping up a bad hill, pitted with the deep gutters, and dotted 
with the loose stones of the normal Itacolumite, we saw, far to 
the left or west, amongst the peaks of the Cerro Frio group, the 
curious formation known as the Tromba d'Anta, the Tapir's 
trunk, t From this point it much resembles the Itacolumi of 
Ouro Preto, a huge monolith raised at an angle of 50°. An- 
other hill, and below us on the left was the large mining esta- 
blishment known as the Chapada. Yet another long slope and 
w^e struck a high grassy plain, where nothing taller than a foot 
could face the fierce north wind, which caused the leaves to droop 
in the lower levels, whilst the fiery sun made the wild flowers 
shrink and wither. Here we sighted the Arraial of Sao Joao do 
Descoberto, considered to occupy the highest site in the Munici- 

The village lies in a shallow hollow close to the mines which 
made it. To the west is the " Morro Eedondo," a dwarf quoin 
crested with a tall cross ; eastward is the cemetery, also with its 
cross. The single street boasts of a humble wooden chapel in 
a dwarf square. The " Almanak " (1864) gives it 2000 souls and 
300 houses, a figure which I should divide by two. The tene- 

* I have seen a large red skin broiiglit syphilis, 

from Rio Grande do Snl ; the people had + The Portuguese, who ignored the 

no name for the beast but Cervo. The Tapir, called it Anta, or buffalo (F. Denis, 

Tupy Diet, gives as the native names of the Anta or Danta *' buffle ") : thus their 

Cervidge : 1. 9^^^?'^"*i^g^ (white), the ancestors had named elephants Lucanian 

smallest. 2. Qua^u Cariacu, so called bullocks. On the other hand, the Tupys, 

from its sleeping in the thickets, and never having seen black, called the bull 

showing only its back. Ferreira explains Tapy'ra o^u (big Tapir), and the calf 

the word as "Caa," foliage, "ri," many Tapy'ra Curumim O^u (Pappoose of the big 

or much, and "acu," that exposes itself. Tapii-). We have corrupted the word 

3. ^uacu Anhanga, the devil-deer, so Tapy'ra to Tapir ; Brazilian purists prefer 

called because its flesh is held to be Tapyr. 
injurious to those suffering from fever or 

til AT. IX.] 



ments are the usual taipa, mostly whitewashed, of the door and 
window order, veiy narrow and somewhat deep, roofed with 
thatch or tile. Each has a large ''compound" to defend the 
vegetation from the rudest Boreas ; the material is puddle or 
dry stone, here and there eked out with stakes and other con- 

Tm-ning to the right we made a crest our " espigao mestre," 
Avhose watershed is north to the Jequitinhonha, and south to the 
Eio das Vellias. On clear days it commands a view of about 
eighty miles m diameter. To the west is a bald Campo, eastward 
he piles of jagged rock; in front, placed for shelter a Httle below 
the liill, stands a long, low, single -storied house, with a small 
chapel at one end, and looking upon a tall black cross, a pit 
full of muddy water, and a vegetable plot enclosed to keep off 

According to custom my Camarada had ridden forward vdth my 
letters. The mistress of the house met me at the door, and 
hospitably asked me to dismomit. I found the host during with 
sundry men and youths, relatives and employes. The work of 
refreshment soon over,* we repaired to the digging. It is known 
as the Duro Mine, because when the diamond was first ''won" 
the sinker had met hard ground — presently to become soft and 
soppy as that of the neighbouring pit. 

We found a large hollow, which at first glance suggested the 
Esbarrancados, or water-breaches, so nmnerous in Mmas Geraes. 
The shape was an elongated horse-shoe, with the major axis 
disposed from south-west to north-east, and the heel draining 
towards the Jequitinhonha River. The maximum dej^th ma}' be 
ninety feet, the breadth 300 yards, and the length about double. 
The material is a hardened paste of clay, whose regular and level 
stratification argues it to have been deposited in shallow water. 
The eastern side of the gap is the more ferruginous formation 

* Brazilians eat nearly as fasst as the 
citizens of the United States. I have 
met only one m'Iio "took time over his 
meals ; " and indeed this is the rule of the 
world. In the nearer East a man sits 
down with a j)ions ejaculation, swallows 
his quantum, ends with drinking water, 
rises with another pious ejaculation, 
washes his hands, and with frequent 
eructations, applies to his ])ipe. Those 
who amongst \xs write * ' Manuals of 

VOL. T[. 

Health " never forget to dwell pointedly 
uijon the necessity of food being thoroughly 
well insalivated before it is swallowed, 
and they allow at least half an hour to 
each meal. I presume that the necessity, 
if it exists, arises from the artificial habits 
engendered by civilization, and the prac- 
tice of eating frequently and at regular 
hours when the stomach does not call 
aloud for another supply. 


(terra vermellia) ; on the west it is mixed with beds of white 
sand. Below one foot of brown soil the argillaceous matter has 
the usual staining and marbling, glaring white like fullers' earth 
with felspar and kaolin, chocolate-brown or rape-coloured Avith 
organic matter, blue-green with traces of copper, pink and rose- 
purple and dark yellow with various oxides of iron, especially 
haematite, and dark steel colour with oxide of manganese. Thus 
old travellers describe the diamantiferous pits of the ''Mustapha 
nagar circar " as a peculiar fat white clay associated with iron- 

We zigzagged down the easy slope of the eastern wall, which 
everywhere bore marks of the pick. Here the ''hydraulicking " 
of California, where a fall of water hollows out chasms 250 to 
800 feet deep, might be applied with great advantage. The 
richest lode (corpo) is No. 3, or tlie highest. The strike of the 
ribboned clays is north and south, bending eastward. The lode 
inclines towards the higher grounds, and thus the owner hopes to 
find the gem-bearing strata spreading over the crest or watershed 
ridge which forms his property. Through the ferrugmous sand- 
stone (borra) and the white felspathic matter run dykes and lines 
of fragmentary rock crj'stal, sometimes fibrous like arragonite, 
and often finely comminuted. Large pieces of imperfect specular 
iron and thin strata of quartz, yellow and brown at the junction, 
thread the argile, and I was shown a specimen of fine sandy 
conglomerate, blackened and scorified by the injection of melted 
matter. The characteristics of this upper lode are a drier clay, 
silica, a trace of copper, of iron-cement, and of Canga in small 
pieces ; when the specular iron is in large pieces and abundant 
the rock is rich in gems. Its " agullias " are iron-lilve bundles 
of needles welded together by intense heat : some are double, the 
fibres coming at obtuse angles. The " Agullias Cor de Ouro " 
have a burnished co2)pery surface, wdience the name.* Through- 
out all these corpos the diamonds are small, averaging perhaj)s a 
little under one grain, or G4 — 72 per oitava ; they are mostly 
crusted superficially with a light green tinge. 

Lower down we came to the middle or second body. Here the 
**taua" (felspathic clay) was stifi' and sand}^ marbled with a fat, 
blue, muddy marl, which leaves upon the fingers a greasy steely 

" The owner iuforiDcd iiic that he IkuI sent 8iicelniens of all his miuerals to the 
liiiititutc of Civil Engineers, London, 


streak. It also yields a dark olive-green argile harder than the 
rest ; like all the others it has consistency in situ, but when 
removed it crumbles to pieces after drying. Lieutenant- Colonel 
Brant gave me from this corpo a fragment of hard large-grained 
cla}', reddish coloured with oxide, and showing a small brilliant 
imbedded in it. 

We then descended to the lowest formation. Here the clay 
contams very little sand, and much stained ; the colours are 
white and blue, red and yellow, rosy, si)otty, and in places dyed 
as with blood. Here also are found the '' Agulhas " in streaky 
bimdles of iron like asbestos. The sole of the pit is uneven with 
working, and m places ''horses," ''old men," and long walls of 
stiff clay have been left standing amongst the holes and gashes. 
From this point the several lodes were distinctly traceable in the 
walls of the basm. A deep di-aining trench divided the length, 
and at the north-eastern end was a washing place, a shallow, 
muddy pool, faced by two concentric circles of staked fascines, to 
prevent the slime from falling in. 

We then walked to the north-eastern end, and found traces of 
Messrs. Rose and Piddmgton. Rails, 600 fathoms long, had been 
laid doTsai, and a white -washed towerlet denoted the engine-house, 
where a raising pump of three -horse power enables the mine to 
work throughout the year. The washing apparatus under the 
neighbouring shed consists of a " batedor," or stone-faced pit, 
eighteen feet long, nine broad, and eight deep ; the clay tilted 
in it by the " trolleys " is here first puddled. Thence a stream of 
running water washes it down a succession of bolinetes or 
bulinetes,* coffin-shaped troughs like Canoas, but much larger. 
They are revetted with masonry, and each is provided at the 
lower end, where the slope is, with a batten or cross piece of 
wood to prevent the heavier substances from being carried do^Mi 
stream. Very few hands were at work. Formerly the Duro 
employed upwards of one hundred negroes, a nmnber now reduced 
to half, and looking very " small " amid the vast area* 

In the evening the host discussed the celebrated Rabicho of 
the Jequitinhonlia River, seventeen leagues from Diamantina City. 
The " crupper " takes its name from a saco or bend, across 
which a cutting of one mile would expose five miles of highly 

* St. Hil. (I. i. 255) makes the cliamoiut ''boliuete, un cailal de bois beailcoup i>\\\>: 
court et plus etroit que ceux dans lesquels on lave le cascalho." 

K 2 


adamantine bed. A plan of this place has been made by Mr. 
Charles Baines, C.E., and also a concession to exploit it has been 
granted to the Commendador Paula Santos. Unhappily the law 
in its unwisdom requires that companies for working diamond- 
diggings must be composed of at least an equal proportion of 
Brazilians to strangers. This is verily a relic of the old narrow-- 
minded colonial exclusiveness — it is not easy to see why the 
diamond-coin should require an especial regulation. 

Early on the next morning Lieutenant- Colonel Brant took me 
to visit the Mina do Barro, belonging to Lieutenant- Colonel 
Rodrigo de Sousa Eeis, a wealthy mine owner, who is part con- 
cessionist of the Caetlie Mirim. We gained the Espigao mestre, 
the great '' Wasser-schied," and found lying dos a clos Avith the 
Duro, another similar quarrj^, but somewhat larger and deeper. 
A narrow s\i]) of land was preserved for a path between the two, 
but this will probably soon disappear, as Lieutenant- Colonel 
Brant's i)rospects are best in this direction. It was a strange 
view to one standing on the crest, with the two painted pits yawn- 
ing on either side, and stretching away into the distance. On the 
further bank of the artificial ravine lay the owner's house ; the 
large, i^ale clay square of buildings, with courts and outhouses 
enclosed, as if for defence, reminded me of a fortified village in 
Ugogo. We found nothing new in the '^ Barro ;" Hke the Duro 
it was drained by a trench ; the washing pit was prevented from 
caving in by stakes and fascines. A few negroes were removing, 
under an overseer, the clays, coloured and white (Jiz), which 
serve as guide to the diamond formation; and there was a 
steam pump of four-horse power, with a tall useless engine 

This diamond digging was discovered at a time and place w^hen 
and where no one dreamed of looking for the gem. An old 
woman, who was in the habit of j^anning Cascalho gravel in a 
little trickle of water from the gap, found that the precious stones 
extended into the blue argile (barro azul). About thii'ty -three 
years ago the digging was begun Avith a will, and presently it 
passed into the hands of the actual owner, who has emploj^ed as 
many as two hundred head of slaves. Other similar diggings 
came to light, and the wealth was such that sometimes an owner 
would exclaim, " O my God, are you doing this to cause ni}' loss ? " 
The Duro is the legitimate offspring of the Barro, begotten, seven 


to eight years ago, by Lieutenant-Colonel Brant, who judged, 
naturally enough, that if one side of a clay slope be productive, 
so might be the other. As has been seen, the progeniture has 

^ vi- .^ Jjt 4j4 

I left the Diamantine region, including the Duro mine, with 
regret. Socially speaking, it is the most ^' sj^mpathetic " spot in 
the Brazil, according to the light of my experience. With an 
''enemy in the fortress" traitorously urging delay, it was not easy 
to escape from its hospitalities. My plea was the absolute neces- 
sity of an Englishman being punctual ; I had promised to be at 
Bom Successo before the eleventh day, and the promise must be 
kept. This requii'ement is universally recognized throughout the 
Empire. Lieutenant-Colonel Brant accorded to me a reluctant 
dismissal, and the amiable Senhora charged me to return, and 
loaded me with kind messages to an miknown, and what might 
have been a theoretical, or even a hj-pothetical wife. 

Old Francisco Ferreira was in no hurry to take the road once 
more. He was i^aid by the day — 1$000 — and thus interest com- 
bined with inclination to urge a little laziness. But neither 
cough nor groan, nor euphuistic phrase of the old eloquent, nor 
muttered anticipations of '' Corrubiana in the bones," was of the 
least avail. I struck the direct road via Guinda to Bandeirinha, 
and on Thursday, September 5, 1867, after a day's ride of 
fort}' miles upon jaded beasts, that now fell twice every twenty- 
foiu' hours, I found myself within the pleasant walls of Bom 

As my Jaguara pilots did not profess to know much of the 
stream below this point, I engaged, with the assistance of Dr. 
Alexandre, a third paddle. He answered to the name of Antonio 
Marques, but was better known as '' O Menino," the '• Little 'un," 
because he was peculiarly tall, broad, and raw-boned, " a long, 
hard-weather, Tom Coffin-looking fellow ;" moreover, he was 
grim and angry-looking as a Kurdish '' irregular cavahyman." 
He had begun life in English emplo3'ment at the Vao Mine, near 
Diamantina, and he had mastered more than one northern habit, 
such as drinking and brawling. He had learned the world, he 
had travelled half-way down the Sao Francisco, and had struck 
overland to Piauhy ; he had rim up north as far as Maranham, 
and he had even seen a steamer. His price was somewhat exorbi- 


tant — 2 $ 000 per diem, and lie vainly attempted to instal himself 
as pilot by ousting the good old " Chiko Diniz," who was worth 
a dozen of him. He greatly preferred conversationizing to row- 
ing, and drink to both. My temper was sorely tried by him, but 
I kept it till we reached Varzea Redonda, 




" The substance that possesses the greater vahie, not only among the precious 
stones, but of all human possessions, is adamas, a mineral which for a long time 
was known to kings only, and to very few of them." — PUnij^ xxxvii., Chap. 15. 

Dr. Couto (p. 127) described the diamond diggings of 
Bagagem which he visited, and named Nova Lorena, after 
D. Bernardo Jose de Lorena, Comit of Sarzedas, and eleventh 
Governor or Administrator of the Minas Geraes captaincy. These 
lands, he shows, are of greater antiqiiitj^ than the countries near 
the coast, as is proved by their degraded and water- washed forms. 
They are also the easier to work, ha^dng more of plain ground 
and larger rivers. The crystallisations of the Cerro or Diamantina 
diggings have smoother facets and sharper angles, whilst the yield 
is more regular and constant. On the other hand, the stones are 
small ; 1000 oitavas hardly produce a single gem of one oitava. 
From Bagagem many stones, varying between three and six oitavas, 
have been taken, but by jumps, as it were. The water is fine 
and brilliant, but the shapes are more rounded and more deeply 
flawed, the effect of longer weathering and more water-rolling. 
Castelnau (ii. 231) describes, in 1844, the diamond diggings of 
Goyaz, on the Araguaya or Rio Grande. We lack, however, a 
modern description of the Diamantino diggings near Cu3^aba, in 
Mato Grosso, and of the Bahian Cliapada. Tlie latter Province 
extends its wealth almost to the seaboard ; gems have been found 



within one or two leagues of Sao Salvador, at the Engenho do 
Cahrito, and at other places near the railway. The Caldeirinos of 
Parahy, thirty leagues from the Sao Francisco Eiver, and the 
lands hetween Crato and Ico, in Ceara, require inspection. I 
shall presently allude to the formation on the lower waters of the 
great artery. In the Provinces of Sao Paulo and Parana, the 
rivers Parahyha do Sul, Verde, and Tihagy, have produced 
diamonds, whilst the hest indications are found near the coast 
ahout Ubatuha. 

Evidently the Brazil has a vast extent of diamantine ground 
reserved for future generations to w^ork with intelHgence, and 
especially by means of machinery. 

Prospecting for diamonds is done as follows : The vegetable 
humus, the underlying clay, and the desmonte, or inundation 
sand, are removed with the almocafre, till the labom'ers reach the 
gem-bearing *' cascalho," or ''gurgulho." This first w^ork is 
usually an open cut of a few feet square. The larger fragments 
of quartz are then removed by the hand, the gravel is washed in a 
*' baco," '' canoa," or '' cuyaca," and, finally, the batea is used. 

After the prospecting (provas) a concession to work diamantine 
ground is directed to, and is easily obtained in these days from 
Government. The api)licant specifies the limits of the extent 
which he proposes to exploit. The land is put up at public 
auction, any one may bid, and it is knocked dow^n to the highest 
ofi'er. The owner of the soil has the right of pre-emption, and 
if only 0g200 per braca (Brazilian fathom) be called, the pro- 
prietor can take it. After the death of the concessionee, the 
digging is inherited by his wife, his children, or, in default of 
other heirs, by his brother. For the use of the reach * in the 
Rio das Pedras, 13,000 bracas long, Sr. Vidigal pays a tax of 
1 $ 000 per thousand, and Dr. Dayrell, within whose limits the 
Canteiro is, might for that sum have exploited it had he so 

The diamond,! say old writers, unites all perfections: spark- 
ling limpidity, lustrous brilliancy — the efiect of its hardness — 

* " Tiro do rio. " only when the oxygen of the atmosphere 

+ M. Caire (La Science des Pierres is exch;ded from it, and when the heat is 

precienses, Paris, 1826,) observes that nnder 14° Wedgewood. He also notes 

the word is derived from aSa^as (in that onr modern word " diamond, "" dia- 

Arabic and Persian, almas), " indomp- mant," &c., by rejecting the " alplia 

table" — nulla vi domabilis, because not privative," etymologically signifies the re- 

to be conquered by fire. This is true verse. 


the accidental colours of the rainhow, reflections that come and go 
with the vivacit}' of lightning ; and, finally, it has " as many fii'es 
as facets." The structure is of thin shining plates closely joined, 
and thus it is easily split along the line of cleavage, which is 
parallel with the planes of the octahedi'on or dodecahedron.* 
The substance has been proved to be crystallised carbon, f but 
the origin is still debated. Some believe that the vapours of 
carbon, so rich during the sandstone period, may have been con- 
densed and crystallized into the diamond. Xewton, it is well 
known, argued from its great refractive power that it is ''pro- 
bably an unctuous substance coagulated." For reasons which 
will presently appear, it is evidently younger at times than the 
formation of gold, and it is possibly still forming, and with 
capacity for growth. Others have conjectured that the Itacolu- 
mite matrix may have been saturated with petroleum which has 
gradually disappeared from oxidation or otherwise, except where 
the carbon has collected into nodules, and has formed the gem b}' 
gTadual crystallization, t 

As has been shown, the specific gravity of the diamond varies 
from 3*442 to 3*556, quartz being 2*600, and water 1*000 ; hence 
it is easily washed, and a i^ractised hand distinguishes it b}^ the 
weight. The index of refraction or quotient, resultmg from the 
division of the sine of the angle of incidence in the vacuum by 
the sine of the angle of refraction in the vacuum, is equivalent to 
5*0, § water and plate-glass being 1*50, sulphur 16*0, and bi-sul- 
phide of carbon, the most refractive liquid at present known, 
37*0. According to Sir D. Brewster it slightly changes the light 
passing through it : older authorities remarked that it decom- 
poses light into its prismatic colours, and shows a distinct phos- 
phorescence after being exposed for some time to the sun, 
imbibing luminosity even through leather. Rough or polished 
it acquires by friction positive electricity, other precious stones 

* Thus the test of striking with a f It was, and perhaps still is, believed 

hammer, often applied by those who have that a dissolvent of carbon is alone wanted 

heard that the diamond is of extreme to make the artificial diamond, 
hardness, has destroyed many valuable J I have seen it popularly stated that 

gems. They were split with the grain flexible Itacolumite is the matrix of the 

or in the plane of the ciystals. That diamond, which is undoubtedly incorrect. 

" shocking the diamonds " (with iron Nor I believe do any of the Itacolumites 

levers) "causes them to be flawed " was contain petroleum. 

taught by the Hindus to Tavernier. The § It has been stated to be as low as 

file roughly applied to the girdle or edge 2 '439 (Brewster). 
is likely to chip it. 



[chap. X. 

being negative in the rough, and positive onl}^ in the pohshecl 
state.* Okl authors remarked that the gem when placed in the 
magnetic line of the loadstone neutralizes the attraction to a 
considerable degree. Most precious stones "wdll scratch glass ; 
the diamond cuts it with a peculiar creaking sound, hence this is 
a favourite test, f Another is the peculiar shock of diamonds 
rubbed together, which is more or less sonorous according to the 
hardness of the stone : I this, however, requires long practical 
acquaintance. It gives to the hand a sensation of cold, a pro- 
perty shared with it b}^ many other stones, and notably by rock 
crj^stal. Finally it is said that the diamond is the only stone 
which can scratch the sapphire. 

As regards the matrix of the diamond, many popular errors 
are still afloat. It has been washed mostly in the " Cascallio " 
gravel brought down by streams and deposited either on the 
banks or in the beds. Hence books have determined that " the 
diamond is always found imbedded in gravel and transported 
materials whose history cannot be traced." Others are of 
opinion that the diamond was formed in the alluvial and arena- 
ceous matters that accompany the Tertiary and Quaternary 
epochs. The accurate M. Damour, who wrote two conscientious 
papers § upon the diamantine sands of Bahia, tells us (p. 11) 
" Ces roches crystallines, servant autrefois de gangue au diamant, 
ayant ete brisees et en partie detruites par I'effet des commotions 
qui ont remue et sillonne la surface du globe, a certaines periodes 
geologiques, ne se montrent plus qiCa Vetat de debris et de matieres 
arenaceesJ" Professor Agassiz (A Journey in Brazil, 501), " is 
prepared to find that the whole diamond-bearing formation is 
glacial drift." This, however, is qualified by — " I do not mean 

^ Tlie electro-magnetic current strongly 
affects the diamond. I spoiled a fine rose- 
cut stone by allowing the ring to remain 
njDon my finger when iising a Meinig's 
chain. My attention was aroiised by a 
peculiar rasping sound, and I found the 
corners of the diamond chipped and 
ground off as if a rough file had been 
applied to a bit of glass. Perhaps this 
may prove a labour-saving method of 
treating stones which rec^uire to l>e much 
cut. The " Odylic Sensitives" of Reichen- 
bach see when "magnetized" a brilliant 
white light proceeding from the diamond ; 
and hence probably the idea that precious 
stones had specific virtues. 

+ Diamonds, especially those Avith acute 
angles, have been injured by violent 
rubbing upon hard substances. Pliny's 
process of testing them by anvil and 
hammer may easily split them. 

X I have heard this asserted by some 
diamond merchants and denied by others. 

§ Bulletin de la Societe Philomatique, 
5 Fevrier, 1853, and Bulletin de la 
Societe Greologicpie de Paris. 2*^ Serie. 
Seance du 7 Avril, 1856. It is regretable 
that sands from other parts of the Brazil, 
from the Ural, from Hindostan, and from 
the Borneo have not been sent to this 

CHAP. X.l 



tlie rocks in ^\liicli tlie diamonds occur in tlieii' primaiy posi- 
tion, but tlie secondary agglomerations of loose materials from 
wliicli thej^ are washed." 

Many authors have mistaken the secondary for the primary 
formation of the diamond. The gangue, about Diamantma at 
least, is the white and red, granular and quaiizose Itacolumite, 
which has been weathered and worn down by geological commo- 
tions.* This was suspected by Dr. Gardner, who observed that 
the matrix of the stone is not the '' diluvial" gravelly soil, but 
the metamorphic quartzo-schist rock. It is not unknown to the 
people : the general idea is that the hard sandstone '' pissarra " 
or psammitic grit bears diamonds when old, but not when new. 
The fact is easily proved. All the diggings which are not near 
or in rivers, lie at the base of some stony mass.t Diamonds 
have been found in the Itacolumite by several hands, and finally 
I have sent to England a specimen embedded in Itacolumite. 
Perhaps the dajMvill come when the rock will be spalled, stamped, 
and washed for diamond- dust as if for gold. 

Accordmg to miners in this part of the Brazil the best diamanta- 
tion (to borrow the native term) is found in the gurgulho, breccia, 
or loose pudding of angular stones, t AVonderful tales are told of 
its wealth, how the discover}- of five or six gems was made by 
pulling up a handful of grass — the picturesque detail has, since the 
days of Potosi, become a fiivom-ite legend, and has ever been 
carefully collected by the popular writer. The choicest specimen 
of a digging of this kind is said to be " O Pagao," at the head 
waters of the Caethe-Mirim near Sao Jofio. The next best 
supply (Mancha de diamantes) comes from the " Cascallio," 
which has been compared ^^ith boiled beans : of this the Pdo das 
Pedras is an instance. The third habitat which we have visited 
at Sao Joao is the '' barro " formation, which seems to contam all 
the others, mixed and degraded. It must, however, be borne in 
mind that the diamond grounds greatly vary in a country so im- 
mense as the Brazil. § 

"" In tlie crystalline Itacolumite I have 
not seen the diamond, but I can hardly 
donbt that it exists there. 

t So Tavernier, sj^eaking of the G-ani 
or Coulotir Mine, under the King of 
Grolconda, where 60,000 soiils were em- 
l^loyed, remarks, "The place where the 
diamonds are found is a plain situated 

between the town and the mountains, and 
the nearer they ajiproach the latter the 
larger stones they find." 

t Castelnau (ii. 323) declares of the 
diamond-diggings of Diamantino (Mato 
(rrosso), ' ' II n'y a jamais de diamant 
dans le gorgulho " (gurgulho). 

§ Dr. Dayi'ell described it to me in the 


As various are the indices of diamonds (pinta em diamantes), 
and almost every digging yields some novelty.* The chief signs 
of many are here given in order of importance, and their name 
united is the Formacao Diamantina, Diamantine formation. 

Cattivo (the Slave), of old called ^' escravo do diamante," and 
supposed to accompany it, as the pilot-fish does the shark. This 
includes at Diamantina bits of transparent, semi-transparent, or 
rusty quartz, silex, rock crystal, and especially spinelle.f The 
latter is transparent or semi-transparent, octahedrons (Cattivo 
oitavado), and with tolerably regular facets (facetas) ; it is dis- 
tinguished from the diamond by its want of fii'e and inferior 
hardness. The " Cattivo Preto," or black slave, is j)robably 
Titaniferous iron, and the miners believe that when occurring in 
quantities it betrays the presence of black diamonds. These 
Cattivos in places are found strewed over the ground ; they show 
that the diamond may be there, not that it is there. The same 
has been said of quartz, the ''flower of gold." The word is 
applied to very different formations. Dr. Pohl translates it 
" thonseisenstein," oxidised hydrate of iron or the limonite of 
Bendant (St. Hil. III. ii. 144). A practical miner assured me 
that at the Chapada of Bahia '' Cattivo " includes zoned 

SeiTa de Grao Mogor of Miuas Geraes, a are valueless. 

lode of soft sandstone, one foot broad, in * John Mawe (ii. chap. 2) describes 

containing walls of hard Itacolunaite. He the diamond-accompanying substances as 

gave me a specimen of sand from Brocotii " Un mineral de fer brilliant et pisifonne 

or Brnciitu, near Cocaes, where spongy (ferragem), vxn mineral schisteux silicieux 

nuggets of Jacntinga gold abound ; it ressemblant h, la i)ierre indique ' Kiesel- 

contains a small diamond, a ruby, a Schiffer ' de Werner (?), de I'oxide de fer 

sapphire, and iron jijTitiferous as well as noir engrandequantite, desmorceauxroules 

specular. The curious formation called de quartz bleu, du cristal de roche jaun- 

"Boart," and of which I shall have more atre, et toutes sortes de mati^res entiere- 

to say, is also local. At Diamantina of ment differentes de celles que Ton sait 

Minas it is unknown, and Bagagem pro- etre contenues dans les montagnes voi- 

duces small qi;antities. It is found at sines." Castelnau limits the "fonna- 

Sincora, the Diamantine Chain of Western ^ao " to three kinds — Cattivo do diamante, 

Bahia, and the largest supply is from the Pedra de Osso, and Pedra Rosea, a 

Chapada of the latter Province. I have violet-coloured grit. According to Taver- 

remarked that in many places gold ac- nier the Hindus judged the land dia- 

conipanies the diamond. Plato believed mantine when they " saw amongst it small 

that the diamond is the kernel of aurifer- stones which very much resemble what we 

ous matter, its purest and noblest jDith, call " thunder stones. " 

condensed into a transparent mass. Thus + The Brazilian name of this crystal 

also we may exjilain Pliny's statement that is, I believe, ''Sarud. " Under this word, 

" adamas " is a " nodosity of gold. " Itaco- however, are probably included the hexa- 

lumite is also the matrix of the tojmz and hedrous fluor spar, corundum, and jDcrhaps 

the ruby. A specimen of the latter was also certain titanates. The chrysolite siig- 

shown to me : it was a small square stone gests Pliny's description, " never larger 

of tolerable water, but too light in colour, than a cucumber-seed, or diiFei'ing at all 

not the real "pigeon's blood" of Asia. from it in colour. " 
Garnets are found in handfuls, but they 


quartz, clirysolite, bits of magnetic iron ore, iron pyrites, and so 

With Cattivo we must associate '' Siricoria," elongated prisms of 
chrysolite (Chiysoberil, Werner, and Cymophane, Haiiy), of a faint 
yellow-green, sometimes almost white. Amongst the Cattivos on 
the Sao Francisco River I found a large proportion of straw- 
coloured topazes,* with sharp angles, and readily leading to error. 

Pinga d'agua (St. Hil. I. ii. 6, " Pingo de agua ") "drop of 
water." It is applied to rounded and cylindrical pieces of every 
size from a pea to a pigeon's egg ; some are white, others rusty ; 
the drops are transparent, semi-transparent, opaque, or zoned. 
They include cornelian, white topaz, and more especially 
quartzum nobile. The small diamond-shaped stones are the 
most prized. With the Pinga d'Agua we must associate the balls 
of quai-tz, called from their shape Ovos de Pomba, or " doves' 
eggs," and the pedras de leite, " milk stones," rounded and water- 
washed bits of silex calcedonius and agates. Both are clear and 
diaphanous, dull and o^^aque, or zoned and prettily marked with 
concentric undulations.! 

Fava, a stone shaped somewhat like a broad bean, and varymg 
in size from a pea to two inches in diameter. As a rule it is 
jasper, blood-stone, or one of the mam' varieties of wliite, brown, 
and yelloAV quartz. Many ''favas," however, are clay revetted 
with ii'on, one-half to two lines deep.:!: The fava branca and the 
fava roxa are sometimes of ^Dure silex or of crystallised quartz. 
Several appear likely to supply good blood-stone for seal rings. 

Feijao, a haricot-shaped stone, rounded and rolled. It is also 
of different sizes, and is mostly of tourmaline (Schorl) or hyalo- 
tourmaline, like that which accompanies the tin-mines of Corn- 
wall. The colom- ranges between dark gTeen and black, and the 
people believe it to have been glazed by gTeat heat.§ 

"•■■ The Cattivos may be compared with zose " pinga d'agiia " and the crystal 

the Bristol or Irish diamonds so often "Cattivo." The term " Minas Novas " is 

associated with bog-oak. They have been taken from John Mawe (ii. chap. 3.) 

frequently taken to Europe, but with J :Mai-umbe, or Pedra de Capote, 

little profit. It is said that they break § I believe that the feijao is sometimes 

when being cut. of jade, axe-stone, nephritis or nephrite, 

t Mr. Emmanuel (p. 126) says, " These because used by Hindus against "the 

topazes (/. c, of ]\Iinas Greraes), found in pain of the kidnej-s. " The aborigines of 

rounded pebl)les, ai-e perfectly pure and the Brazil employed it as labrets and other 

coloiu'less, and are termed ' pingas d'agoa ' oniaments, and made their hatchets of 

or ' gouttes d'eau ; ' they are also termed this fine apple-gi-een mineral, which is 

Nova Minas (?), The Portuguese call known to be soft when first taken from 

them 'slave diamonds.'" Here there is the quany, and to become tough and 

CA-idently a confusion between the quaii;- compact l)y exposui-e to the atmosphere. 


Caboclo, mentioned by Dr. Couto (p. 64) as Pedras Cabocolas, 
and explained to be Ferrum Siniiis and rubrum, red with dark 
stains (mesclas). This jasper or petrosilex takes its name from 
the dull yellow tmge caused by oxide of iron. It is compact, and 
feebly scratches glass. The surface is i)olished and lustrous, as 
if it had been in contact with excess of caloric ; the usual colour is 
of dark or light yellow, opaque, and verging on brown ; and there 
is no pecuUarity of shape except that the fragments are mostly flat. 
There are many varieties of the Caboclo. The C. Oitavado is that 
which has angles. The C. bronzeado, common in the Barra da 
Lomba, is dark yellow. The C. Comprido is an elongated bit of 
jasper. The C. Eoxo is a compact red sandstone, possibly altered 
by heat. The C. Yermelho, common in the Caethe-Mirim, is 
apparently cinnabar. 

Esmeril,* in shape resembling the feijao, is mostly oxydulated 
iron. According to the miners, some stones contain eighty to 
ninety per cent, of metal. Of this stone, also, there are many 
varieties. The Esmeril Caboclo has a dull j^ellow tinge. The 
E. preto, in Gardner's opinion, is a kind of tourmaline. The 
E. lustroso is almost pure iron, often welded by heat to a fine 
breccia ; it sometimes resembles a black diamond, but it is amor- 
phous. The E. de agulha is a long, thin strip of iron-stone. 

Ferragem, or Pedra de Ferragem, is either flat, bean-shaped, 
nodular, or rounded like a bullet. It is mostly of ohgistic or 
specular iron, of dark purple or lustrous black. I have seen some 
specimens which are iron pj^ites, and others are bullets of silex, 
making good touchstones of velvet-black colour. 

Pedra de Santa Anna, squares and cubes of magnetic iron that 
aftects the needle. The name is also applied to copper pyrites^ 
and this is often found degraded to a mere sand. 

Osso de Cavallo, t '' horse's bone," which it resembles in aj^pear- 
ance and consistence. The shape is long or round like an 
osseous fragment, and it appears to be pure sandstone (granular 
Itacolumite ?) which has long been buried, 

Palha de arroz, "rice straw," a fragment of light j^ellow sub- 
lustrous chlorite, slate or hardened clay-slate, resembUng a 
cucumber- seed. 

'" Not Isnihim, as OastcliiaU Write.s (ili. + rctlra fic O.sso (Castcluaii, ii. olio). 

178). " L' oxide noir dc fer, appelc ici Tlii^j " hortic-bonc " must not be ecu- 

cmeri," says John Mawe (i. cliap. 12). founded witli the " Pe de Cavallo" or 

8pix and Martins explain the word l>y " horse-hoof, " a yellow jasper, which merits 

"Eisenghmz." ' its name. 

CUAP. X.] 



AguUia, or Aoullia de Cascallio, Titanic iron, in bundles or in 

single needles. 

Casco de tellia, cinnabar or reddish clay, yellow inside, and 
showing mica and talc. 

Pissarra folliada, schists of different colours,^ var3'ing from a 
dull yellow white to black. 

Pedra Pururucu, a light-coloured friable grit.* 

'' The following uote is taken from 
the valuable paper of M. Damour (Soc. 
Geol. p. 542, April 7, 1856), describing 
the cUaniantiterous sands sent to him from 
Bahia. The numbers show the formations 
which occur most frequently, 

1. Hyalin Quartz (the yellow is the 

occidental topaz, the blue is the 
occidental sapphire). 

Jasper and Silex. 


Disthene or Cyanite. This substance 
is ea,sily distinguished ; it is in- 
fusible by the blow-pipe, consists 
of little needles or thin-bladed 
crystals, the edges are rounded by 
rubbing, and the coloui-s are pearl- 
grey, light blue and pale-green. 

Zircon or Hyacinth, also found in the 
auriferous soil of California. This 
silicate shows well-preserved crys- . 
tals more than a millimetre in 
diameter : it occurs in squares and 
prisms ending in four-sided py- 
ramids, with the angles and crests 
sometimes modified. !^ome arc 
coloiu'less, othei-s are lirown, yel- 
low, violet, or clear red. 

Felspar, in rare water-rolled fragments 
of reddish matter, cleavable in two 
directions, which ineet at right 
angles. It is not affected by acids, 
but is fusible before the l)low-pipe. 
^Melted with cai'bonate of soda it 
proves to be composed of silica, 
alumina, and a little oxide of 
iron, with probably some alkaline 

2. lied Garnet (almandine or precious 

Slanganesian CTarnet (spessartiue or 
deep red garnet). Density, 4 "16. 
In dodecahedral rhomboids, very 
small bright crystals of a topaz yel- 
low. The blow-pipe fuses it to 
a which becomes black and 
opaque in the oxidizing flame. 
The glass made with salt of phos- 
phorus (microcosmic salt\ and 
heated to redness with a little 

nitre, shows manganese by assum- 
ing a dark violet tinge. 


Tounnaline (green and black.) 

Hyalo-tourmaliue (feijao). Density, 
3*082, scratches glass feebly. 
Under the microscope it looks like 
a number of small needles crossing 
one another : the fracture is fibrous. 
The dust is of greenish grey. 
Heated in a glass tube it disen- 
gages a little water: melted with 
borax, it gives a reaction of iron, 
and before the blow-pipe it swells 
and fuses to a brownish black or 
dark green scoria, which, after 
being subjected to burning charcoal, 
becomes slightly magnetic. The 
scoria can be decomposed by boiling 
in siilphuric acid ; and biu-nt in 
alcohol it gives a green flame, show- 
ing boracic acid. Analysis also 
yields silica, titanic acid, alumina, 
magnesia, a trace of lime, soda, 
water and volatile matter. It differs 
from black tourmaline only by the 
presence of water and titanic acid. 


Hydrous jihosphate of alumina, or Wa- 
vcllite (Caboclo). Density, 3 '14 in 
Diamantina and Abaete, and colour 
a coftee lirown. Density, 3*19 in 
Bahia ; tint rosy or brick-red, and 
shape rounded galets. Composi- 
tion, phosphoric acid, alumina, 
a little lime, barj-tes, oxide of 
iron, and 12 to 14 per cent, of water. 

Phosphate of white yttria, which J.l. 
Damour previously called Hydro- 
phosphate. Before the blow-pipe it 
liecomes white without fusing ; the 
lustre is tlie fat adamantine, and 
the colour white or pale j^ellow : it 
scratches fluorine and is scratched 
by a steel point. The iiTegular 
and rounded fragiuents have a 
double cleavage leading to a rectan- 
gular or slightly oblique prism. 
One incomplete crystal showed a 
pyramid Avith foiir faces, two largo 



[chap, X. 

As regards shape the rule is that the smaller stones are the 
most regular. The larger specimens seem to have no constant 
form or crystallisation; they are round, flat, or elongated, and 
generally truncated abruptly at one end, as if a j^iece were want- 
ing. The facets, which when cut appear flat and even, are, in 
the natural stone, concave, convex, or rounded : hence the Abbe 
Hatiy observed that the component molecules may be regular 
tetrahedra. Wallerius (quoted by M. Caire) assigns to the diamond 
three shapes, the octahedron, the plane, and the cube.* The 
normal form of the diamond, here as elsewhere, is the regular 

and clean with an angle of inci- 
dence at the summit, amounting to 
96° 35' ; the two others, narrow 
and miiTory (miroitantes), had 
the angle of 98° 20', whilst that of 
the neighbouring facets was 124° 
23' 30". 

Phosphate of titaniferous yttria, 
])reviously termed silicate of yt- 
tria, silica having been confounded 
with zirconium. Density, 4 "39 : it 
feebly scratches glass ; it is ojoaquc 
and of cinnamon brown. The 
rounded grains are pierced wdth 
surface holes ; it is also in 
square-based octahedrons, with 
facets like those of zircon. Boil- 
ing sulphuric acid decomposes it, 
leaving a white residuum. This 
substance is found in the auriferous 
sands of Georgia and North Caro- 

Diaspore, or hydrate of alumina. 
Density, 3 '464; composed of bright 
crystalline blades of greyish wdiite, 
resembling certain felspars. The 
composition is alumina, ferric acid, 
and water ; when this is disengaged 
by the blow-pipe, it becomes opaque 
and milky white. 

Rutile, in small rolled grains or 
quadrangular prisms, with stria3 
along the major axis, ending in 
a foiir-sided pyramid with modifi- 

Brookite, differing from rutile in 
having the crystal type. It is 
entirely comj^osed of titanic iron. 
The only specimen examined was 
a flat prism striated along the 
major axis and ending in the 
dihedron, like the formations found 
in Wales. 

Anatase (titane). Density, 4*06 ; 
l>right, octahedrons, transparent or 
.^tmi -transparent, and distinguished 

iVom the diamond by inferior hard- 
ness and reactions before the 
blow-pipe. It becomes opaque, 
brown and reddish after an epi- 
gene, which converts it wholly or 
partially to nitile. These trans- 
formed crystals are holloAv, and 
composed of a multitude of needles 
Avhich cross in all directions. 

Hydrated titanic acid ; of this sub- 
stance no quantitative analysis wa-s 
made. The whitish yellow con- 
cretional matter crepitates strongly, 
and disengages water in a glass 
tube ; and Avith salt of sulphur 
it gives reactions of titanic acid. 

Tantalate. Density, 7 '88 ; it is a 
black amorphous substance, which 
scratches glass. 

Baierine, or Columbite (Niobate of 
iron) ; in flat striated and often 
regular crystals ; the dust is reddish 

7. Iron, titaniferous. Density, 4 '82. 

Formula, 3 Fe -f 8 (Ti O^, Ta O^). 
It scratches glass ; the fracture has 
a semi-metallic histre, and the dust 
dark olive-green. The black grains 
are almost all water-rolled ; a few 
crystals show rhomboidal oblique 
prisms of 123°. 

8. Iron, oxydulated (Esmerih) 

9. Iron, oligist (rhombohedral, six-faced 


10. Iron, hydroxydated. 
Iron, yellow with sulphur. 
Tin, oxide of. 

Mercury, with suli)luir ; heated in a 
glass tube it gives a black subli- 

11. Gold, free. 

* Mr. Emmanuel (p. 49) says, "The 
Indian diamond is generally found in 
octahedral, the Brazilian in dodecahedral 


octahedron (Adamas octahedrus turbinatus of Wallerius), com- 
posed of two four-sided and equilateral pyramids, springing from a 
common base. This is called the Diamante de piao, and it loses 
much in cutting. With this i^rimarj are found the modified 
forms, the hexahedron or cube, the dodecahedron (twelve rhombic * 
faces), the pyramidal hexagon (tetrakis-hexahedron of twentj^-four 
faces), and others. When the table and the culet of the funda- 
mental system are worn down, the octahedron becomes a 
decahedron ; the abrasion of two other points or angles (quinas) 
makes it a dodecahedron, a geometrically allied form, but 
approaching the si)heroidal, and w^hen two other edges at the 
girdle or base of the double pyramid disappear, it will number 
fourteen facets. These rounded stones (tesselladas or boleadas, 
Adamas hexahedrus tabellatus of Wallerius) are locally known as 
the primeira formula, and they are preferred by the trade, as they 
lose least by lapidation. There are all manner of derivations 
from the normal octahedi'on and dodecahedron, as the flat 
and triangular hemi-hedral, or half-sided diamans hemiodres 
macles, the effect of secondary cleavage, called diamantes em 
forma de chapeo (hat-shaped) ; these find no fi\vom\ The 
tetrahedrons (four-sided) are pjTamidal, little valued when the 
vertices are acute. There are also diamantes rolados (water- 
rolled stones, reboludos, M. Jay), which lose all their ''pointfes 
naives ; " these are held, when round and oval, to be a good form. 
They may, when elongated, explain Pliny's "two cones united at 
the base; " they are often covered with o^^aque crust, and rugged 
like gi'ound glass ; in this state they are not to be distmguished, 
except by theii' power of scratching softer substances, from the 
Pinga d'agua. Some of the latter, on the other hand, especially 
when of pure opaque quartzum nobile, so much resemble the 
gem in its " brut " or rough state, that many an inexperienced 
man has lost his time and his money. 

The form of the diamond gi'eatly influences the price, and thus 
it is that the merchant makes his profit. He pays for size, 
w^eight, and water ; he gains by the shape. Purchasers on a large 
scale have boxes of metal plates pierced with holes, and acting 
as sieves (crivos). Those shown to me were in sets of nine- 
teen, and bore upon them the mark of Linderman and Co., 

The diamond greatly varies in colour. Those mostly prized 

VOL. II. u 


are nitid as silver plates, clear as dew-drops, lively and showing 
the true diamantine lustre. All that are deeply tinted with 
oxide are called '' fancy " or coloured stones. A light yellow is 
very common, and detracts from the value ; the decidedly yellow, 
the amber-colom^ed, and the brown are worse. The rose-tinted 
are rare and much admired, the red are seldom seen. At 
Diamantina I was shown a fine green specimen, but the price 
was enormous.* The black or rather steel-coloured diamond 
being very rare, and rather curious than beautiful, is valued by 
museums ; as the shape is often a good double pyramid, it should 
be mounted uncut, f The dead-white is not prized, and the same 
may be said of all '^ false colours," especially the milky and 
undetermined tints. The violet is still, I believe, unknown. I 
heard of blue diamonds, and many of those brought from Caethe- 
Mii'im are coloured superficially with a greenish-blue coating. 
This and the various oxides of iron must be removed by burning 
at a loss of about one per cent.t The *' Duro " stones are 
distinguished by a light green colour, crusting sometimes thickly 
outside, but they cut white. Tavernier learned in India that the 
colour of the diamond follows that of the soil in which it is dug ; 
red if it be ruddy, dark when the ground is damp and marshy, 
and so forth. This has been copied into om^ popular books. 

To discover the flaws so frequent in diamonds, the purchaser 
has several simple contrivances, such as to breathe upon the 

■^ !Mr. Emmarixiel relates a case of £300 may explain tlie fable believed by Marco 
having lately been paid for a diamond of Polo in the middle of the thirteenth 
vivid gi-een colour, weighing 4 J gi'ains ; centnry — "Such as search for diamonds 
had it been of the normal colour the value watch the eagles' nests, and when they 
would have been £22. "Until lately," leave them, pick up such little stones, and 
says Tavernier, ' ' the people of Golconda search likewise for diamonds among the 
made no difficulty in buying diamonds, eagles' dung." Hence too " El Sindibad of 
externally of gi'een colour, because when the Sea " (Sindbad the Sailor), whose ad- 
cut they appear white and of a very fine ventures are a curious mixture of fact 
water." distorted to fable. 

+ "One (diamond) was jet black, a + At the Chapada of Bahia the gems 
colour that not unfi'equently occurs." are placed "w-ith saltpetre in a crucible 
Thus says Mr. Gardner (chapt. 13), speak- which is closed and kept over the fire, 
ing of the " Serro " formation. I have usually for about a quarter of an hour: 
only seen one in the Brazil, and that was this, however, is a " kittle " point. When 
brought from Rio Yerde of Sao Paulo by sufiiciently roasted to have lost the oxide 
my friend Dr. Augusto Tiexeira Coimbra. of iron or the earth colour, the stones are 
It came to a bad end : he drojipcd it from throwTi into cold Avater, and of course they 
his waistcoat jjocket, and it was swallowed are found to have lost a little weight, 
by a fowl. In rich and new districts the Heating the diamond and then throwing it 
crojjs of all poultry when killed are carefully into cold water was a Hindu test of sound- 
examined, and are often found to contain ness and freedom from flaws. These 
diamonds — another j^roof, if wanted, that crusted stones, according to John Mawe, 
the gem is not poisonous. Possibly this genei-ally cut well. 


stone, wlien defects and deficiencies of colour appear ; or to 
place it in the palm of the hand, and to look thi'ough it towards 
the light, turning it in all directions.* The Jaga (in French 
Gi\T.'e, or Gercure) is a shallow line or speck, often of a dark 
colour, such as is seen in crystallized quartz ; it is also a semi- 
opaque imperfection, which we call "milk," or ''salt." The 
Natura (glace) is a want of continuity, or a void where the planes 
meet ; the Kacha is a fissm'e, or vein ; and the Falha is a serious 
fractm'e, where two flaws join as if cemented together. In cutting 
these flaws they open out, and the diamond is spHt (estalado). 
The " ponto " is a strange body which has entered mto the 
cr}^stallization. Grains of sand have been observed in the 
diamond by many writers. I heard of a stone which contained a 
spangle of gold, and the same peculiarity has before been noticed. f 
This formation shows the comparative date of the stone, whose 
crystaUizations of carbon, or protoxide of carbon, must have 
arranged themselve's round the metal ; and favoui's theu' opinion 
who beheve with Brewster, that the diamond, hke coal, is origi- 
nally vegetable matter which has passed through Nature's 
crucible. A stone was lately fomid at Bagagem, with a loose 
piece nailed (cravado) as it were into the body of the gem ; a 
similar " implantation of crystal " was suspected in that cele- 
brated stone the '' Estrella do Sul." The flawed diamond 
generally is called ''fundo." Possibly many of these defects 
may be removed, and tradition dimly records that the Comte de 
Saint Germain, and others who have displayed immense wealth, 
had mastered the art. 

The diamond-merchant in the Brazil still cleaves to the old 
system of money-weights, introduced by the Portuguese in the 

* The Hindus tried the goodness of the the flaws caused by metallic molecules, 

diamond by cutting one with another, and " crapauds. " M. Damoiir, speaking of 

if the powder was grey or ash-coloui-ed, it " boart," remarks, " Des paillettes d'or 

was held sufficient test, " for all other pre- sont quelquefois implantees dans les cavites 

cious stones, except the diamond, afford a de certains morceaux de ces diamants. " 

white powder." — (A Description of the Sir J. Herschel (Phys. Greog. 291) quotes 

Coasts of Malabar and Coromandel, by M. Harting, who in 1854 "describes a 

Philip Baldasus, 1670.) They also exa- diamond from Bahia, including in its sub - 

mined them by night, and judged of the stance differently formed crystalline fila- 

water and clearness by holding them be- ments of iron pyi-ites — a fact unique in its 

tween the fingers and looking through them kind, and, taken in conjunction with the 

at a large-wicked lami^ placed in a wall- affinities of iron and carbon at high tem- 

niche. peratures, likely to throw some light on the 

f " Nous y avons constate des paillettes very obscure subject of the ultimate origin 

d'or," says M. Charles Barbot (Traite of this gem." 
Complet des Pierres Precieuses). He calls 

L 2 


days of colonial ignorance. The Brazil lias, lil^e ourselves, an 
especial diamond weight ; * but practically, and amongst miners, 
one hears of nothing but ''grain" and " oitava." Quilate, or 
carat,! is not popular. Thus, in selUng ''fancy" or coloured 
stones, such as the blue, green, rose, or j^ellow-coloured, the old 
French lapidaries said, for instance, " eighty grains," not " twenty 

The following is a complete list of weights : — 

Dezreis = 1 grain (0-892 gr. Troy). This is the lowest of all weights : 

below this all becomes "fazenda fina," or diamond 

Vintem = 2 grains (2-25 Portuguese) = 20 reis = | a carat. The 

Vintem (plural Vintens, not Vinteis as St. Hilaire 

writes) is the unity of measure. 
Meia-pataca =16 grains =160 reis = 8 vintens. 
Meia oitava = 32 grains = 320 reis =16 vintens. 
Cruzado = 45 grains = '400 reis (an old weight). 
Sello = 480 reis (quite obsolete). 

Oitava = 64 grains J (72 grs. Portuguese) = 640 reis = 17'44 carats 

= 32 vintens =16 carats. 

Above four vintens, the diamond is considered large. Many 
miners have dug all their lives without finding a stone that 
exceeds twenty vintens. The most useful size is probably six 
vintens or three carats. The smaller stones are known in the 
trade as " pedra de dedo," stone of the finger, because they can 
be raised by pressing the tip upon them. The "cuberta" is 
when the lot consists of the larger gems ; e.g., " Partida (parcel) de 
diamantes que tem cuberta." 

* The Brazilian measures (found in books) are — 

Lisbon lb. Brazilian Custom-house lb. 

233 '81 grammes. = 458 "92 grammes. 

4 grains = 1 quilate (carat) = 0-203 = 0-199 

6 quilates = 1 escrupulo (scruple) = 1-218 = 1-195 

Our diamond scale is — 

16 parts = 1 grain = O'S grains Troy. 
4 grains = 1 carat = 3-2 , , 

151-50 carats = 1 ounce Troy (8 oitavas, or 256 vintens). 
16 ounces = 1 pound, 
t The word carat is derived fiom the from the Arabic word ' Kuara,' the name of 

Arabic J^LJ (Klrat), through the Greek *^^ f^'^ f ,^, "^^^'^l^^'f^ ^}^''\\%f''^'}^^ 
■^^ V /» & on i\^Q Q-o]j Coast of Africa (?). The 

Kepi^TLou. It is the small, red, black- " Kuara" of Bruce grew upon a region ad- 
tipped bean of the Abrus precatorius, a joining the Red Sea. The Hindu equiva- 
tree probably indigenous to Hindostan, but lent is the Rati (Ruttee), which Tavernier 
which has migrated to Eastern Africa, makes = |ths of the carat = 3^ grains, 
where it grows wild. Mr. Emmanuel (p. 55) Z Some make the oitava = 60 grains 
says, "The origin of the carat weight is English. 


Of late years, the price of diamonds all the world over has 
prodigiously increased. In 1750-4, when David Jeffries wrote, 
a perfectly white and si)read brilliant of one carat was worth 
£S; it now fetches from ^17 to 56I8.* The reason is easily 
found. The influx of gold has raised the price of stones. 
The market has greatly extended ; f in the United States, for 
instance, these gems are eagerly sought by those who have made 
money. And lastly, in unsettled countries, as the Orient has 
long proved, and wherever poHtical troubles threaten, the 
diamond is used " en cas," or " en tout cas ; " its extreme porta- 
bility — the fact that its currency is nearly at par all the world 
over — and the difficulty of destroying it, raise it to the category 
of a coin of the highest value. | In the Brazil, as in the Atlantic 
cities of the United States, where every one that can afford 
them, even hotel waiters and nigger minstrels, wear diamonds in 
rings and shirt fronts, demand has produced the same result, 
which is, moreover, exaggerated by the want of slave hands, and 
by the exhaustion of the superficial deposits. Thirteen years 
ago the oitava sold for 320 $ 000 ; now it fetches from 800 $ 000 
to 1:000 $000, nearly three times its former value. § In 1848, 
dming the European convulsion, the price of brilliants at Baliia 
was reduced to fifty per cent. ; but the market lost no time in 
recovering itself. !| Castelnau (ii. 345) predicts that at the end of 
the present century the diamond will be worth onty twenty per 

* A "specimen stone" will rise to £20 rose above 200. Good diamonds of three 

or £21. to four carats then sold for $3500 to $4000. 

t ' ' Amid the sumptuous articles which Finally, it assures us that ' ' ninetj' -nine out 

distinguish the Russian nobility, none, of every hundi'ed diamonds sold in the 

perhaps, is more calculated to strike a United States are what are called brilliants," 

foreigner than the profusion of diamonds," as opposed to the rose, the table, and the 

says Cose, writing in 1802. California, brilliolette. 

after 1848, developed the demand for dia- J Thus only can we explain the fact that 

monds in the United States. During the many noble but reduced families have sent 

ten years following 1819 the various custom- their diamonds from Hindostan, the very 

houses registered a rise from an annual home of the diamond, to Europe, and have 

average of $100,000 to about $1,000,000. brought them back because they could find 

The duty was kept as low as 1 per cent, to a better market in the older countiy. On 

discoui-age smuggling ; but it was paid, the other hand, the general style of East 

they calcidated, by something less than Indian cutting, making the gem lustreless 

one-sixth of the imi^ortation. The stones and glassy from want of depth, injures it in 

are mostly small, weighing under the half public esteem. I have seen a fine stone 

carat, and jewellers ask 2.5 per cent, more placed like a bit of crystal over a portrait, 

than in Paris. A good article on " Diamonds and even thus it was valued at £1000, 
and other Grems " (Harper's New Monthly, § In 1867-8 the fall of the milreis has 

February, 1866) declares "it is doubtful produced other comijlications in the dia- 

whether there is any diamond in the United mond trade of the Brazil. At the present 

States of over twelve carats in weight. " It moment (July 28, 1868) the oitava may 

states that a marked advance in price took average 1 : 000 $ 000 at Rio de Janeiro, 
place between 1863 and 1864, when gold || During the first French Revolution, 



[chap. X. 

cent, of its value in 1800. I venture to say that, unless the 
stone can be manufactured, the reverse will approach nearer to 
the truth. 

In j)roclucing the diamond, Nature preserves her regular pro- 
portions ; the small are comparatively numerous, and the larger 
stones are progressively rarer. In rough diamonds, the ratio of 
value more than doubles with the weight. Thus, supposing 
a stone of one vintem to be worth 18 $000 to 20 $000 ; and one 
of 16 vintens wiH fetch 400 g 000 to 500 g 000 when the oitava is 
at 1 : 000 $ 000. At Bahia the price is thus ascertained. Assuming, 
for instance, the unworked stone to be worth £2 per carat, the 
worth of a heavier diamond is known by doubling the square of 
the weight (e. g,, 2 carats x 2 = 4 x 2 = d68.) For worked 
stones, double the weight, square it, and multiply by 2 ; for 
instance, 2 carats x2 = 4x4 = 16x2= ^£32. 

Lieut. -Colonel Brant gave me the following list of prices in 
brute stones, showing that the value at Diamantina differs little 
from that of England. Diamonds, I should remark, are divided 
for facility of pricing into first, second, and third waters. 

Grain diamonds* 

12 to 18 

per carat 

= 75 shillings. 




= 77 shillings. 

1st water. 

ror single Stones. 





1 to 5 grains 

= 83 shillings. 

96 francs. 

110 francs. 

6— 7 „ 

= 107 






8— 9 „ 

= 120 






10—11 „ 

= 148 


12—13 „ 

= 160 






14 15 „ 

= 185 






16—17 „ 

= 195 






18—19 „ 

= 210 






20 grains 

= 220 






24 grains 







8 carats t 





10 „ 





12 „ 





16 „ 





20 „ 





panic and a want of demand sunk the value cover. In 1848, " portable property" was 
of the gem 25 per cent, in the shortest in requisition all over Continental Europe, 
time, but the assignats assisted it to re- and the price of the diamond rose greatly. 
* The Parisian table, March, 1853, gives — 

First water, 25 to 30 to the carat, per carat, 72 francs. 

Do. 18 „ „ 78 „ 

First water (defective) and 2nd water ,, 60 ,, 

Third do. ,, ,, 45 ,, 

Eight stones, per carat . . ,, 90 ,, 

The " Meles" in Paris are stones that weigh less than half a carat. 

+ Above five carats the i)rice can hardly be fixed ; it depends upon the demand, the 

CHAP. X.] NOTES 0:N the DIAMOND. 151 

The curious substance called by the English ''boart"* and 
*' graphite," t by the French ''boort" and *' diamant concre- 
tionne," that is to say having no cleavage, and by the Brazilians 
" carbonato," was formerly valueless. In 1849 it became worth 
from one to two francs -per carat, and now it fetches 56 $000 per 
oitava. It is supposed to be the connecting link between carbon 
and diamond; its hardness is that of the true gem, and its 
specific gravity ranges from 3*012 to 3*600. The granular amor- 
phous mass appears under the microscope distinctly crystalline, 
in fact an aggregate of granules or lamellas of diamond 
analogous to a grit of quartzose sand. In some si^ecimens 
are cellular canities like pumice, empty or full of sand, and geodes 
lined with small regular crystals of colourless diamond. It is 
black and lustreless, and when burnt it leaves a residue of clay 
and other substances. This " diamond- carbon" accompanies the 
diamond in sandstone and in cascalho ; it appears in angular and 
rounded galets ; the irregular lumps bemg often as large as a 
walnut. Castelnau speaks of a piece weighing more than a pound. 
I have heard of 2: 500 $000 (^250) being paid for a single frag- 
ment. When "boart" is of large size it is generally broken to 
find if it be full or hollow. It is known by the great weight, by 
its diamond-like coldness in the hand, by the sharp peculiar 
sound when bits are scratched and rubbed together. The miners 
sometimes steep it in vinegar, as we do lard in water, to augment 
the weight, and it so resembles a piece of common magnetic or 
13}Titic ii'on ore that without great care the best judges are 

circumstances of buyer and seller, and so forth. The larger stones often remain on hand 
many years before they find a purchaser. I have heard of a Brazilian gentleman who 
expended nearly all his property in buying a " great bargain," in the shape of a diamond, 
of which he has never been able to dispose. The larger stones are always sold singly. 
Tavernier gives the following nile for estimating their value : — 

15 carats (perfect stone) 15 carats (imperfect stone) 

15 15 

225 225 

150 (value of a single carat) 80 (value of the single carat) 

33,750 livres. 18,000 livres. 

* Wonderful to relate, the diamond mer- mostly unfit to be cut, and when crushed 

chants of Bahia could not agree upon the the dust is used for polishing gems and for 

meaning of "boart," which books apply as engraving on hard stones. 

in the text. One of the oldest and most + Graphite is usually applied to the pure 

experienced insisted that it was the cheapest debitumenised carbon found in the Lauren- 

and worst kind of perfectly crystallised tian, and associated with anthracite in the 

diamond, worn by attrition into spherical Cambrian systems. Its vegetable origin is 

globules, like shot grains, This kind is not thoroughly established. 


deceived. * It is x^ounded and used principally in diamond cutting. 
Drills pointed mtli this mineral have, I am told, been employed 
with great success in driving tunnels through hard rock. 

Of tliis little known substance three kinds are distinguished by 
the trade. The worst is the "Carbonato;" a finer kind with 
better formed crystals is the ''Torre," which fetches 60 $000 per 
oitava ; the best occurs in small rounded balls of shining metallic 
appearance, and is therefore called "Balas," this may rise to 
80 $000 per oitava. t Some Chapadista miners have not yet 
learned to sort the varieties. 

The Brazilian diggings have produced some large and valuable 
gems, which have all been sent out of the country. 

The Braganza diamond was worn by D. Joao VI., who had 
a passion for precious stones, and possessed about ^3,000,000 
in value. Now amongst the crown jewels of Portugal, it was 
extracted in 1741 from the mine of Caethe Mirim.t Authors 
differ touching its weight, § and no drawing of it has, I beUeve, 
been published ; it is supposed to be larger than a hen's egg, and 
it has long laboured under the suspicion of being a fine white 
topaz, a stone which m the Brazil, as elsewhere, |I often counter- 
feits the diamond. 

* The boart or carbonate, however, has pinkish topaz, 

no attractive power. It is tried by striking In reading these two pleasant and in- 

it between two copper coins, and if it stmctive volumes I con Id not but regret 

breaks or does not dint the metal, it is that the author had not given us an account 

held valueless. of the celebrated diamantation of Borneo. 

+ Dr. Dayi-ell gave me a specimen of In old authors we find that the sands of the 

"boart" from Sincora. It much resembled " Succadan" River produced fine stones of 

pyi-itiferous iron-sand. The substance is white and lively water, but that the Queens 

found in pieces varying from one gi-ain to of Borneo would not allow strangers to 

half an oitava. I have heard it called export them. We remember, too, that in 

*'bolo redondo," and was told that the Borneo was found, in 1760, the largest 

colour is sometimes of an opaque white. diamond known. The weight was 367 

t M. Barbot specifies the place as the carats = 1130 gi-ains. It caused a war of 
little river "Malho Verde," in the vicinity nearly thirty years' duration, and it re- 
ef *' Cay-de-Merin," mained with the original possessor, the 

§ John Mawe and the Abbe Reynal Rajah of Mattam, The island, with its 

make the weight 1680 carats (12^ French core of givanite and syenite which protrude 

ounces). Rome de I'lsle, who estimated its in the vast mountain mass known as Kina 

value at 7 milliards 500 million francs, Balu, the " Chinese Widow, " through the 

gives 11 ozs. 3 gros. and 24 grains of gold secondary limestones and sandstones, much 

weight. M, FeiTy says 1730 carats, esti- resembles the Brazil. We read also of the 

mating the Brazilian carat at '006 less pot holes washed by sand-water, the gravels, 

than the European. Mr, Emmanuel gives and the rocky streams which characterise 

it 1880 carats in p. 78, and 1680 in p. 128, a diamantine country. There are curious 

the former being probably a misprint. resemblances in minor points. For instance, 

II Mr, St. John (Forests of the Far East, the people of the Sulus Islands keep their 

vol. i. 48) mentions a noble in Brunei who small stores of seed-pearls in hollow bam- 

for £1000 offered a diamond about the size boos. These are the " Pequas," so well 

of a pullet's egg, which proved to be a known to the Brazilian mine-owner. 


The Abaete* brilliant was found in 1791, and the circumstances 
of the discovery are related by John Mawe, M. F. Denis and 
others. Three men convicted of capital offences, Antonio da 
Sousa, Jose Fehs Gomes, and Thomas da Sousa, when exiled to 
the far west of Minas, and forbidden under pain of death to enter 
a city, wandered about for some six years, braving cannibals and 
wild beasts, m search of treasui'e. Whilst washmg for gold in 
the Abaete River, which was then excej)tionall3^ dry, they hit upon 
this diamond, weigliing nearly an ounce (576 grains = 14^ 
carats), t They trusted to a priest, who, despite the severe laws 
against diamond washers, led them to Villa Rica and submitted 
the stone to the Governor of Minas, whose doubts were dissipated 
by a special commission. The priest obtained several i^rivileges 
and the malefactors their pardon, no other reward being men- 
tioned. A detachment was at once sent to the Abaete River, 
which proved itself rich, but did not offer a second similar prize, t 
D. Joao VI. used to wear this stone on great occasions attached 
to a collar. 

The "Estrella do Sul" briUiant was found in July, 1853, at 
Bagagem of Minas Geraes by a negress. § In the rough state it 
weighed 254^ carats. The owner parted with it for 30 contos 
(£3,000) ; at the Bank of Rio de Janeiro it was presently 
deposited for 300 to 305 contos, when it was worth 
£2,000,000 to £3,000,000. After being cut by the proprietors, 
Messrs. Coster of Amsterdam, it was reduced to 125 carats, and 
now it belongs, I believe, to the Pacha of Eg}3)t. Though not 
perfectly pure and white, its *'fii'e" renders it one of the finest 
gems extant. 1| 

The Chapada of Bahia also produced a stone weighing 76|- 

* M. Biiril (427) calls the Abaete dia- shed ; even the finder was not murdered — 

mond *'0 Regente." only ruined, and died broken-hearted. Of 

+ In some books the weight is given at the score or two of persons who made for- 

1384 carats ; in others it is made 213. tunes by the discovery, Casimiro (de Tal), 

+ This stream has already been men- whose negress (not a negro, as the writer in 

tioned. The diamond was described by "Harper's" says) brought it to him in 

John Mawe as octahedral in shape, weigh- order to obtain her freedom, was the only 

ing seven-eighths of an ounce Troy, and one disappointed. 

perhaps the largest in the world. It passed || M. S. Dulot (France et Bresil, Paris, 

through the hands of the Viceroy, and was 1857), p. 20, seems to confound the "Star 

sent in a fi-igate to the Prince Regent. of the South," which was found in 1853, 

§ A story far too long to tell here belongs with the " Braganza," dating from 174:1. 

to the Estrella do Sul, which appeared at ]\Ir. Emmanuel (p. 61) rightly makes the 

our Grreat Exhibition in 1851. Exception- Eitrella do Sul the largest found in "the 

ally, for few diamonds with names can Brazils." 
make such boast, it has caused no blood- 


carats, and when cut into a drop-sliaped brilliant it proved to 
possess extraordinary play and lustre. It was bought by 
Mr. Arthur Lyon, of Bahia, for 30 contos, and it is now, I am 
told, in the possession of Mr. E. T. Dresden. 

Briefly to conclude. As yet the Diamantine formations of the 
Brazil have been barely scratched, and the works have been com- 
2)ared with those of beavers. The rivers have not been turned, 
the deej) pools (po9os or po9oes) above and below the rapids, 
where the great deposits must collect, have not been explored, 
even with the diving helmet; the dry method of extraction, 
long ago known in Hindostan, is still here unknown. All is con- 
ducted in the venerable old style of the last century, and the 
fiend Routine is here more deadly than Bed Tape in England. 
The next generation will work with thousands of arms du'ected 
by men whose experience in mechanics and hydraulics will enable 
them to economize labour ; and it is to be hoped that the virgin 
gem-bearmg waters will be washed up-stream. This was the 
sensible provision of the old Diamantine Regulation. Unfor- 
tunately it came too late, when the channels had been choked 
with rubbish which was hardly worth removing. 




" Cette partie si importante de I'economie publique, en un mot demeure encore 
livree a un etat d'abandon que le gouvemement ne peut trop s'empresser de faire 
cesser." — (J/. Claude Deschamj)s, of the French Rivers in 1834.) 

" It is presumed the Brazil will not attempt to dispute the now well-settled 
doctrine, that no nation holding the mouth of a river has a right to bar the way 
to market of a nation holding (land ?) higher up, or to prevent that nation's trade 
and intercourse with whom she will, by a great highway common to both" 

{Lieut. Herndon, p. 366.) 

Saturday, SeiJtemhcr 7, 1867. — My letters were soon written, 
the trooper Miguel and his mules were dismissed with good cha- 
racters, and at 9.30 a.m., after embracing our kind host, Dr. 
Alexandre, we pushed out of the creek " Bom Successo." 

" O Menino," the new broom, swei)t, as hapjoens for a short 
time, uncommonly clean, naming every little break of water or 
hole in the bank.* The rocks, sandstone aboimding in iron and 
laminated blue limestone, were all in confusion. The strike was 
to the east, the north-east, the south-east, the west, the north- 
west and the north, and sometimes within ten yards the strata 
were anticlinal, nearly vertical, and almost horizontal. There 
were slabs of clay, with perpendicular fracture dipping towards 
the river, and here and there " Canga" and " Cascallio." 

After a few unimportant featui'es,t we left to starboard the 

* E.g. the Cor6a do Nenne, so called + Corrego do Bom Successo Pequeno on 
after the nickname of a man with a cripi^led the right bank, one league by water and 
hand, and the Corda do Saco, both with the one mile by land from the Fazenda. Then 
main channel to the left. Then the Coroa the Coroa do Saco do Cedro, grassy and tree- 
do P090 do Gordiano and the Coroa do grown, -ndth a break above and below it. 
Cedro, with the Ribeirao do Cedro faUing On the right bank the Sitio of Antonio 
into the left bank ; these have the thalweg Alves, with traces of cultivation. 
CD the right. 


Larangeii'as stream and estate, belonging to Colonel Domingos. 
Opposite it is tlie Barro do Maquine Grande, a little '' fishy " 
creek of clear water, which has a water-way of five leagues for 
canoes, forming a Coroa (do Saco do Maquine Grande), with a 
clear way to the right.* In the Maquine Fazenda there is, they 
say, a cavern which gave fifteen days' work to Dr. Lund, and the 
savant found there a " pia " or baptismal font of stalactite, which 
would have commanded 400L in Europe. Shortly after noon we 
descended this day's first rapid, the Cachoeira da Capivara, which 
has two channels, with a sandbank in the centre. The left is the 
deep water-way, but rafts come to grief by dashing against the 
bank where the pole cannot touch bottom. We therefore floated 
down stern foremost, threw out a cord and hugged the Coroa. 
The air was dense with bush-burnings, here producing an 
" Indian spring," which corresponds with the " Indian summer " 
in the north : mostly Brazilians complain of the smoke, and 
declare that it gives them difficulty of breathing. Nothing could 
be more picturesque than the long lines of vapour like swathes or 
veils, whose undulations overlay the hill-tops, and gradually dis- 
persed in air.f 

At 4 P.M. we passed the Eio de Santo Antonio, a pleasant little 
stream which admits for two leagues tolerable-sized canoes, whilst 
the small dug-outs ascend it about double that distance. It leads to 
(Santo Antonio de) Curvello, a town so called after an ecclesias- 
tical colonist ; built upon the Campo, and the last in this region, 
it is supposed to demarcate the " Sertao," X or Far West. But 
the inhabitants do not readily own to the soft impeachment ; the 
traveller is always approaching the Sertao, and yet hears that it 
is still some days off. He remembers the lands of the tailed 
nyam-nyams, which ever fly before the explorer, or, humbler 
comparison, the fens of certain English counties which, according 

The next holm, Coi-oa do Palo, which perpendicular bank of brown clay six feet 

sent US to the left, is not mentioned by M. deep, with red-leaved Co^Dahyba trees gi-ow- 

Liais. ing fi-om it. There is little to notice in the 

+ After the Palo are the Porteira, so Porto and Corrego da Anta or in the Porto 

named from a creek, and the Coroa das do Murici, so called from a small edible 

Mamonciras, with the thalweg to the left ; yellow berry. 

neither of them is mentioned by M. Liais. Z Southey "WTites the word after the old 

Then comes the Corrego das Canoas (Ribei- fashion, "Sertam," and declares (ii. 565) 

rao das Canoas, Liais), exposing on the that he does not know its origin. It is 

right bank a mass of auriferous pudding- nothing but a contraction of Desertao, a 

stone, and beyond it the boulders dip 10° large wild, and it is much used in Africa 

to 30°. Here the Coroa das Canoas blocks as well as South America, 
up the right channel. On the left is a 


to the pallid, ague-stricken, web-footed informant, are not honoured 
by being his dwelling-place. 

After passing broken water at the Coroa de Santo Antonio and 
the Coroa and Corrida das Lages, at 5 p.m. we fixed upon our 
*' dormida." It was a sandbank in a bay called Saco or Porto 
dos Burrinhos, of the Little Donkey's, and o]oposite it, on the 
right, lay Boa Yista, still the property of Colonel Domingos. 
The moon, that traveller's fiiend, a companion to the solitary 
man, like the blazing hearth of Northern chmates, rose behind 
the filmy tree-tops and made us hail the gentle light. We have 
not the same feeling for the stars, or even the planets, though 
Jupiter and Venus give more light than does the Crescent in 
England ; they are too distant, too far above us, whilst the Moon 
is of the earth, eartli}^, a member of our body ph3^sical, the com- 
plement of our atom. We did not forget a health to this, the 
Independence Day of the Brazil. Within the life of a middle- 
aged man she has risen from colonyhood to the puberty of a 
mighty Empire, and history records few instances of such rapid 
and regular progress. This ''notanda dies" also opens to the 
ships of all nations, the Amazons and the Rio de Sao Francisco ; 
a measui'e taken by Liberals, but, curious to say, one of the most 
liberal that any nation can record. In spirit we join with the 
rejoicings which are taking place on the lower waters of the 
liberated streams. 

September 8. — Pushing off at 6*30 a.m., we passed the Porto do 
Cui'vello with a ranch on the left, denotifig the high road to Dia- 
mantina. The rapid and shallow, known as Saco da Palha, sent 
us first to the left and then to the right. Again the rocks are 
quaquaversal, with dip varying from horizontal to vertical. The 
banks at the beginning of the daj^ were low, but ^n-esently they 
became high and bold ; forested hills on the right formed a hollow 
square. The first rapid was the Cachoeii'a do Landim,* with its 
*' crown " and shallow; aline of stone, fractured in the centre, 
stretches nearty across stream, and gives passage to the left. 
Beyond this point are sundry minor obstructions,! not named 

* Said to be the name of a fish and a left of a third, where two sandbanks nar- 

tree. M. Liais writes Landin. row the bed to fifty yards, and descend the 

+ The Coroa do Jatahy, but little above Saco daVarginha or Varzinha. Another little 
water, and Tvdth a break to the right, shows nameless break, the course turning from 
where Col. Domingos' property ends. Then east to north, and backed by a hill-line 
by the right of the low banks the Coroas wooded to its flat top, and apparently cross- 
do Garrote and do Pau Dourado ; by the ing the sti'eam. 


by M. Liais. He proposes, however, extensive " ameliorations " 
of the stream, "tmiage," draguage," canalizing to suppress the 
useless *'chenal," and '* attacking" the bank. 

After the Varginha, a low sandbank which gave us passage to 
the left, the Porte do Silverio (P. N.) sent us to the right. Here 
a reef, at this season very shallow, nearly crosses the stream, 
and "Marumbes" or h^on-coated stone, began to ghsten on the 
bank. Next came the Saco and Cachoeii'a de Jequitiba, with 
fields and houses on the left. We landed on the Coroa and 
inspected this neat mill-dam, a broken ridge of ferruginous rock 
• — possibly derived from the Serras — extending right across 
from north-north-west to south-south-east. Canoes can creep 
along the left side, but our ark gallantly plunged down the 
middle, which a little hammering would easily open. We noticed 
the magnificent sugar-cane, which exceeds in size that of Bom 

More small troubles* led us to the not very important Cacho- 
eira da Manga. The word denotes a narrow lane, and a square 
of rough rails leading to the water edge. Cattle are driven in, 
and the pressure of those behind compels the foremost to set the 
example of swimming the stream. A clearing ran up the neat 
hill-slope on the right bank, horses and cows basked on the sands, 
and men, squattmg like Africans under shady trees, shouted 
warnings of the dreaded Picao, and promised to pilot us if we 
would wait a day. We expressed our gratitude chaffingly, modi- 
fymg the puppy pie and the lady in mourning. 

Steering to the left of the Tronqueira break, and describing a 
little circle to the right, at 3 p.m. we entered the Saco do Picao. 
Here the stream, swinging to the left bank, works round from west 
to north-east and east. At first a little break extending across 
nearly home, and well provided with snags, made us present rear 
and hug the right ; the bank was hard and soft argile, quartz- 
veined, and supporting Canga, whose strike was east and dip 
30° to 35°. Then passing to the left of an ''mch" we landed 
on the right side to Hghten the craft and to inspect the for- 

* Barra do Breginho, with a turn to the Cachoeira and Coroa dos Tachos (Taxes, M. 

noi-th-east ; on right bank, huts and fields Liais), with bad break over rock wall to 

with snake fence opposite. The Cachoeira the right, passage on. left, but two rocks iu 

do Saco, a dam of ironstone, with narrow the way. 
gap to left, and grassy hill in front. The 


The Picao, or Pickaxe, deserves its ill-fame ; it is perhaps the 
worst obstruction on the Eio das Yellias.* A broad, broken band 
of jagged serrated teeth dams the stream, besides which rocks and 
sandbanks extend some two miles above and below it. The material 
is a very hard blue clay shale, whose laminations easily spHt 
apart : it has a metallic ring, it does not effervesce under acids, 
and it hardens in, without bemg otherwise affected by, fire ; evi- 
dently it will be valuable for building. The emergmg rocks cause 
the waters to groan and splash, to dash and s^did by them m httle 
rapids (Corradicas), averaging some nine feet per second. AYe 
crept under the right bank, but now drawing sixteen inches, we 
were soon aground, and required liftmg by levers. Passing to 
the right of a small sandbank below, we had a good back view ; 
the water-fall was between three and fom' feet, and there would 
be no difficulty m opening the mid-channel. At 5 p.m. we 
crossed to the left and nighted on a sandbank, still in the Picao 
Sack, opposite a hill, and a small cascade which resembled a 

Here we enter the land best fitted for emigrants. We are 
beyond the reach of the great planters who vdsh to sell square 
leagues of ground, some good, much bad, and all, of course, at 
the longest possible price. There are no terrenos devolutos, or 
Government grounds, but the small moradores ask little. Here- 
abouts a proprietor is ready to part with four square miles, 
including a fine large Corrego, for 300§000 to 400S000, less 
than I paid for my raft. The Geraes, or lands beyond the river, 
are still cheaper, and generally where water runs in deep chan- 
nels, land may be purchased at almost a nominal price; the 
people have no appliances for iiTigation, which the steam-engine 
would manage so efficiently. The views are beautiful, the climate 
is fine and dr}^, mild and genial, there is no need of the quinine 
bottle on the breakfast-table, as in parts of the Mississippi 
Valle}". There are no noxious animals ; and, excej)t at certain 
seasons, few nuisances of mosquitos and that unpleasant family. 
The river bottom is some four ixdles broad, and when the roots 
are grubbed up, it will be easy to use plough or plow, whilst the 
yield of " corn " and cereals is at least from 50 to 100 per cent. 

* M. Liais remarks of ttis Picao (p. 10\ la rive droite, et en toucliant soiivent ua 
" ime petite barque vide et a moitie portee fond de pieiTes. " 
par des hommes pent seide passer tout contre 


There is every facility for breeding stock and poultry ; besides 
washing for gold and diamonds, limestone and saltpetre abound, 
whilst iron is everywhere to be dug. Water communication will 
soon extend from the Rio de Sao Francisco below, to the excel- 
lent market of Morro Velho in the upper waters. Lastly, the 
people are hospitable and friendly to strangers ; my companion, 
who had a smattering of engineering, could have commanded 
employment at any fazenda. 

Sept. 9. — The end of the Picao was a shallow break, known as 
the Portao ; it is formed by a ledge projecting from the high right 
bank of red-stained limestone.* This was followed by a straight 
reach, with fine bottom lands, wooded hills bounding them to 
the left. After paddling for about two hours and a half, w^e 
descended by the stern " as Porteiras," the gates, and came to 
the rapids known as Cancella de Cima, and Cancella de Abaixo, 
the upper and lower barred gate.f These unpleasant gratings were 
not passed without abundant clamour and fierce addresses, begin- 
ning with " Homem de Deus." The river is shallower than 
ever, we can see the water line below which it has lately shrunk, 
and evidently the usual rains are wanting in the upper regions. 
The marvellous dryness of the air continues to curl up the 
book covers ; at sunrise the breath of the morning deadens our 
fingers, and incapacitates them from writing, though it ranges 
between 55° and 60° (F.). At noon the mercur}^ rises to 75°, and 
at 1 P.M. to 85°. Presentl}^ a south wind will blow from the Serra 
Grande or do Espinhago. 

At 11 A.M. the reach bent from north-east to north, and we 
passed the mouth of the Parauna Piver I (Barra do Paratina), 
now an old friend. The breadth of this, the most important 
of influents, is 90 to 105 feet, a mass of sand cumbers the left 

* Further down was limestone on the right ; on opposite side a Barreiro de Gado 

right bank, striking to the north-west, and with huts, sugar-cane, and Jaboticabas. The 

dipping 45°. Cancella de Abaixo has on the left bank a 

t The upper Cancella is formed by scat- grating composed of four long walls and 
tered teeth of stone projecting from the detached rocks, the passage is along the 
banks. We hung upon a detached rock in right side, where there are two separate 
the centre, and the poor canoe took in stones and a pair of dam lines ; here also 
much water ; levered her oflf and found we struck, and lost twenty-five minutes, 
passage close along right bank. Rest of X M. Gerber places the Barra da Parauna 
run occupied by a ledge stretching fi-om in south lat. 18*^ 50' 0". M. Liais in 18° 
north-west to south-east; touched again 30' 19" "9, at fifty-three direct miles from 
and spent a total of twenty minutes before Casa Branca, in 19** 23' 45" ; and eighty- 
getting into deep water. Another dam four from Sahara (in south lat. 19° 54'). 
from left bank gives free passage to the 


jaw, and elsewhere there are stiff banks of brown humus, and 
white and red clay. The j)osition will make it a great central 
station when a railway from Eio de Janeiro shall connect with 
the steam navigation of the Sao Francisco. 

At the Barra do Parauna began new scenery. Hitherto the 
mountains have been like crumpled paper ; now they assume a 
kind of regularit}^, and often lie parallel with the axis of the 
stream. On the left there is a buttressed calcareous line through 
which the Rio das Velhas breaks at its confluence with the Pa- 
rauna : further south the same ridge is to the right, or east, and 
flanks the Cipo river on the west. The Eio das Vellias widens 
to 200 yards; the tortuous stream becomes comparatively 
straight, with a general dii'ection of north, 11° west, and the 
slope is greatly diminished.* A "fancy country" showed itself, 
the blocks of hill drew off, and the banks were gently sloping 
ledges, with brown drift wood at the water edge ; and yellow clay 
and sand with rocks here and there in higher levels. Large un- 
dulatmg ribbons of tender green, set in sun-burnt flanks, showed 
the torrent-beds green-lined as those of Somali-land in the rains, 
and here and there the thicket contrasted with tall scattered trees, 
the remnants of an old forest. Cattle lay and sunned themselves 
upon the damp Coroas, and we heard with pleasure the voices of 
\illagers and the barking of dogs. 

At 1'30 P.M., we passed the Lapa d'Anta, a formation remind- 
ing us of Pau de Cherro. The river runs to the north-east, 
and its right bank is buttressed by a bold mass of limestone 
bluff to the west, rising sharply from the sands and clays on 
both sides, and forming a small bay with a graceful sweep. It 
is the perpendicular face of a long range, extending from south- 
east to north-west, and hemming in the river on the east ; the 
featm^e corresponds with that before noticed. The dip is 25^, 
exposmg only the edges towards the stream : the lower part is 
' a hollow of wavy, blue-tmged strata, wliilst the upper half is an 
overhanging mass of solid matter, looking as if crystallised, 
stained red by the rusty clay, and curtained with black tongues 
apparently dyed by the cinders of the burnt soil above. From 
\ the summit sloped backwards a brick- coloured hill, with leafless 

* According to M, Liais, tlie slope be- tlie latter stream to tlie deboucliure of the 

/ tween Trahiras and Parauna is 0"4355 Eio das Velhas, it diminishes to "2735. 
I metre per mile. From the confluence of 
( VOL. II. M 


trees, contrasting singularly with the metallic verdure of the 

At 1'45 P.M. the river turned from north to west, and we passed 
a similar formation. Here a cave, the P090 do Surubim or do 
Loango,* faces south, and shows an arch of blue limestone with 
soffit-like edges of brick, built as if by art, with then- laminations 
of dark chocolate embedded in a limestone resembling marble. 
A little below, a sandbank, projecting from the left, contracts the 
stream to half-size and makes it very deep. The prospect is 
pleasant, hill piled on hill, and changing colour from brown-red 
to blue as the lines recede. f 

Presently we sighted the Lapa dos Urubus, a limestone bluff 
lilie its neighbours ; but rising some eighty feet in height : it is 
crowned with green trees, and has grey vegetation above. It faces 
to the west, the river running north to south and the strata are 
horizontal, except where they had slipped dovni into the water. 
On the right bank, and in front, lay a tapering point projecting 
from a bushy hill, whilst the sand-ledge that banked the stream 
was tasselled with verdure. A single splendid Jequitiba, with a 
cauliflower-like head and a wealth of cool verdure, marked the 

About 5 P.M. we landed and walked up to the Lapa. Beyond the 
bank, some fifteen feet high, was a dwarf clearing (Eoga), with 
felled trees and a field of tomatos and Quiabos, or " Quingombos," 
(Hibiscus esculentus), mixed with the Cordao do Frade.J After 
a few paces we reached a cliff from whose crevices trees sprang 
and creepers hung down ; here also the arches had a brick-like 

* According to tlie people, tlie Loango in tlie Sertao. The meat is excellent, white, 

is the male of the Surubim ; others declare firm, and fat. I have never tasted a finer 

that the Moleque is the male of the Loango. fresh-water fish ; it has, however, the bad 

The fish here supplies the Amazonian cod- name of causing skin disease, 

fish, the Pirurucu (Vastus gigas), and the f Here occurs the Ilha Grande which 

people will learn to salt and export it. It blocks up the right side. Then the Coroa 

is a kind of sturgeon, scaleless, spotted and do Clemente with three sandbanks, one 

marbled, flat-muzzled and whiskered, like tree-grown, the others sandy. Beyond 

the "cats" (Silurus), which drown the this is another large islet, which must be 

negro boys fishing in the Mississippi waters, passed on the right. 

and ugly as any "devil fish." It is often t Leonotis nepettefolia. From Ukhete, 

five feet long, and attains a weight of 128 in Eastern Intertropical Africa, I sent home 

lbs., yielding two kegs of oil. Several a specimen of this labiad, which grows 

species are mentioned ; for instance, the Avild all over the low damp region of the 

Surubim de Couro. The people declare it seaboard. The negroes use it to narcotise 

to be a cannibal like the pike ; they net it, fish, and probably it has been introduced 

and the wild men shoot it with arrows. into the Brazil by the old Portuguese. 
They split the body, sun-dry it, and sell it 


appearance, and the tall organ-pipe Cactus hedged the foot. The 
cave faced to the south, dehris of rock encumhered the entrance, 
and liigher up was a large shield-formed slah, masking a dark 
gallery some three feet high, and said to extend two miles. Here 
was a shallow j)it whence the saltpetre earth had been taken, and 
we found nothuig within but bats and " horse-bone limestone." 

Sept. 10. — The night was cold, a chilly eastern breeze coursed 
down from the Diamantine mountains, and the ^' Corrubiana " ap- 
l^eared fi'om afar in fleecy dark-lined clouds. After twenty minutes' 
work we came to the Cachoeii'a das Ilhotas, an ugly place,* but 
easy to be opened, as the crest of the ledge is narrow. The sun 
waxed hot, the east wind was exceptionally cold and high, and 
my companions began to suffer. Joao Pereii'a was treating a 
bruised arm with arnica, and was compelled to "lay up;" a 
serious matter with a small crew. The other men had for the last 
two days complained of a sensation of malaise, headache and 
want of sleep, without an}^ apparent reason. I resolved to begin 
a new system, and to halt during the greatest heats. Finduig 
the Eliza overweighted to starboard we pulled up a plank and dis- 
covered that, in addition to the leak, the carpenter had not taken 
the trouble to remove his chips. In the Bight of Benin none of 
us would have escaped fever, and a few would have remained on, 
or rather in, the banks. 

After the Ilhotas we attacked the three Jenipapos. No. 1 is a 
wooded islet defended b}" a dangerous snag ; there are rocks in 
abundance and the current swings towards them. AVe ran down 
the left bank of the holm, and crossed water breakmg over sunken 
stones ; here in June, 1866, they wrecked a canoe and implements 
for sugar-maldng, en route from Sahara to Januaria.f Jenipapo 
No. 2, where the stream runs to the north-east, has few diflicul- 
ties ; there is suflicient water in the mid-stream. After this, for 
some three miles, we made easting, and gained notliing. Then 
we crossed the Bedemoinho da Beija-mao, the " Whirlpool of 

* Ptocks extend across tlie stream from islet caused us to hug its eastem side to 

riglit to left, blocking it up in tlie latter avoid a reef on tlie riglit bank of the 

direction. We went to starboard, groimd- stream, and we ran the rapid, carefully 

ing upon the dexter bank of the Coroa, looking out for ledges below water. This 

above the rocks on the right, and rounded occiipied half-ai-hoiu\ 

its lower end by cordelling. Then we shot t Below it is another break, stones and 

through a bad break formed by a rock pier an islet, crossing the stream from north to 

running from north to south, and made the south ; further down, the water dances and 

left side to avoid two similar formations, a flows over a nev/ly formed bank ; whilst, 

detached stone and a shallow. The second lowest of all, there is a break of ironstone. 

M 2 


Hand-Kissing." It is not even a Maelstrom, but it may be 
dangerous to small craft during the floods. The third Jenipapo 
was a Coroa, which we skirted on the right, the res't of the water- 
way breakuig heavily. Shortly afterwards we passed the Ilha do 
Hippolito * with a saw of jagged rocks that barred the right 

At 2 P.M. we resumed work in the teeth of a strong north wind. 
The right bank showed a bed of quartz-conglomerate four to five 
feet high, and below it was the dry Corrego do Brejo with its 
limestone outcrop. At the Vao da Carahybaf there is a ford in 
the dry season, and the Saco of the same name showed a rock to 
starboard, not dangerous, for the channel on the left is well 
marked. Here we followed three sides of a square, and a cut of 
1*5 mile would save six. At 5 p.m. we passed the Porto de Areas, 
on whose right people were encamped. It was marked by a quaint- 
looking Angico Mimosa, then leafless, and exposing a smooth 
rhubarb -yellow bole.t Another hour placed us at the Saco da 
Manga, a sandbank 20 feet high, spangled with the Mangui 
Hibiscus, and supporting fine rich soil eight feet deep. Here the 
waters of the Rio das Velhas, probably affected by some influent, 
were particularly dark and foul, with the peculiar smell of the slimy 
African river where rain has not washed it. The pilots declared it 
crj^stal compared with the waters of the wet season, when the upper 
washings give it a blood-red hue. At night, however, the evil was 
mitigated by a strong wind from the " Eange of the Spine." 

SeiH. 11. — The dawn when we set out was clear, but as the 
horizon waxed yellow, smoke columns began to rise from the 
water till dispersed by the hght breeze which became a strong east 
wmd. At noon the sun was fiery, and the afternoon w^axed wintry, 
but it was a winter in Egypt. It reminded my companion of a 
"fall day" in Tennessee, when men begin to pick " cutt'n." 
About eventide clouds hke smoke-pufl's flitted across the sky and 
gathered in the north, whilst a purple haze in the west, and a 
misty moon betokened, said the pilot, not rain but wind. 

Swee]3ing round a corner we saw white sand-drift and tall trees, 
which showed the Porto da Manga of the Rio Pardo. It drains 

* M. Liais calls it " de San Hippolyto. " goldeu brown, the other with a smaller 

+ Also called CarauLa, Caroba (an error), blossom of pleasant lilac colour. 

Caraiba, and Carahiba ; we shall find it in J The guides named it Pau Breu — X-'itch 

quantities upon the llio de Sao Francisco, tree, 

where there are two species, one with pale 


the western slopes north of Diamantina. The countersloioes 
supply tlie Caethe-Mhim to the Jequitinhonha. Canoes, after 
two days, reach its Serra, distant only twelve leagues from the 
City of Diamonds. The month was 140 feet broad, the main 
stream being 650. The first hour saw us bumping down a shallow 
formed by a break, and i)assing a jagged Hne of limestone slabs 
with a western strike, and nearly perpendicular, like half-sub- 
merged gTave-stones. A little below it were limestone blocks, 
with a south-eastern strike. Again the surface of the land dis- 
plays extreme iiTCgularity, caused probably by the meeting of 
different systems of uplands wdiicli project their bands from both 
banks across the stream. It is one of the peculiarities of this 
Low^er Rio das Velhas, and deserves attention. 

Presently we shot at the Cachoeira do Goncalvez,* an ugly 
place with broken water. Shortly afterwards we struck heavily, 
and hung for a time upon a sunken rock in midstream, under 
sm-face ail the year round, and not noted in the plan. Twenty 
minutes led to a similar accident. On the latter occasion, how^- 
ever, limestone lumps emerged from the water near the bank. 
These obstacles are dangerous to boats ; the Cachoeka must be 
cut through, and the rocks should be removed. At 9*30 a.m. was 
crossed the mouth of the Cm^umatahy Eiver, which heads north 
of and runs parallel with the Rio Pardo. Here the pretty stream 
is about 105 feet broad ; its right bank is rich with tall trees, and 
it curves gi-acefuUy out of sight. 

The Rio das Velhas again alters its aspect. For some time we 
had seen in front a long grey line, the Serra do Bicudo, so called 
from a little stream entering the left bank. Now we make a long 
w^esterly bend, compelled by the Serra do Curumatahy, a chine 
rismg some 1500 feet above the river-bed, and at this point 
approaching within 300 yards of the stream. It is prolonged to the 
north \)j the Serras do Cabral, do Paulista and da Piedade, whilst 
opposite them on the left bank are the Serras da Palma and da 
Tabua. There is a remarkable correspondence in the lines. The 
smnmits are grass-grown, and shrubbery appears in the damper 
hollows. Here, as elsewhere, more rain falls upon the higher 

* M. Liais, Cacboeira de Gongalo. Two dow-ii on the riglit, shaviug a slab, made 

separate lines of limestone on the right for the left side, and then crossed to the 

strike south-east, and dip 75° ; all below east, 
is rugged, with scatters of rock. We w^ent 

163 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BPvAZIL. [ciiap. xi. 

than upon the lower levels, but the former readil}'- drain into the 
latter. Between the southern chains, which appear to be the 
boundaries of the old bed, is an average interval of four miles. 
The ranges are composed of gently swelling hills, with a surface 
of brown bush from which the timber has been removed, and with 
scattered patches and gashed lines of green, denoting water. The 
slabs of blue stone, probably lime, are said to form caves and 
saltpetre. At the base are bayous and swamps (brejos) lying below 
highstream level. The banks show a remarkable difference ; on 
the right is a fertile calcareous soil, based on a ferruginous argile * 
used for whetstones. On the left, where sandstones and lami- 
nated clays appear, the vegetation is poor and " scraggy." 

At noon we anchored for rest near a bed of conglomerate, six 
feet thick, shaded by a noble Jatoba salaammg to the water. The 
place is called the Brejo do Burity, and it bears a thin forest of 
monocotyledons with a dicotyledonous undergrowth. The word 
wTitten by Pizarro and St. Hilaire "Bority," by Martins, Gardner 
and Kidder " Buriti," and by the System " Bruti," is a vulgar cor- 
ruption of the Tup3^ " Murity." f This Mauritia vinifera is at once 
elegant and useful, but I was disappointed with it v\^hen recalling 
to mind the magnificent Palm^^as or Fan-jDalms of Yoruba. The 
people, however, declare that near the river it is an inferior 
growth, attaining its full dimensions only in the high and dry 
Geraes lands. They could not tell me how far it extends. Most 
of them agreed that where the Carnahuba clothes the margins of 
the middle Sao Francisco the " Burity" grows inland. Here it 
flourishes isolated and in groups. I saw every size, from the 
little ground-fan to the tall column crowned with sphere of leafage. 

According to Leblond and Codazzi, a tribe of Guaraunos or 
Waraons depended for life upon this palm, where they built their 
aerial houses, and whose larvae are still fixvourite food Avith the 
" Indians" of the Orinoco. Here the leaves are woven into bas- 
kets, and the fronds are cut, rafted down, and sold for fences. 
The oily, reddish pulp between the fruit scales and the albumi- 
nous substance of the nut I is made with sugar into a massa 
or lump, and carried bound in leaves to market. The people 
relish this " doce," although it is believed that eating the fruit 

At 9-50 A.M. Ave passed in the river t St. Hil. (III. ii. 34-i) says, *'le tronc 

and on the hanks, ironstone, apparently est remjili d'une moelle, dont on fait une 

^■^ch. sorte de confiture." All assured me that 

t Some old travellers have " murichv. " it was from the fruit. 


stains tlie sldn yello^v. Tlie brown-3'ellow fibre forms strong liam- 
mocks, wliich last longest when the material is greased. On the 
Rio de Sao Francisco they cost from 1$000 to 1,S500. The 
saccharine juice gives the most highly prized palm wme in the 
Brazil, where, cmious to say, that of the Cocoa nut, of all the 
delicatest, is unknown. It is extracted, after the wasteful negi-o 
fashion, by felling the tree ; holes are cut with the axe half a foot 
long by three inches deep, at intervals of five or six feet, and they 
are soon filled with the reddish liquor. As time advances a more 
economical system will be tried. The " Buritizal" suffers much 
from the lar2"e ant called lea or Yea. 

D 3 3 

At 2 P.M. we left the Jatoba shore, which seemed to be enjoyed 
by flies and other pests as well as by ourselves. "We made a 
straight line of five miles between the parallel range, after which 
the narrowness of the right-hand channel drove us to the left of a 
Corao. At 3*15 p.m. we passed an island wooded on the north. 
The west bank was stre^^Ti with very loose Cascallio, and cut by a 
limjnd stream. Here the bed narrowed to 250 feet. A few " der- 
rubadas," or clearings, contained dead trees encumbering the 
ground, and httle onion plots spoke of population. Half an hour 
afterwards a sandbank squeezed the left channel, and drove us 
down the right. Here we saw for the first time groups of lime- 
stone rocks just above water, and overgrown with the woody 
Ai'uida. The Cachoeu'a do Pdacho das Pedras breaks in the 
centre and shows the same features, calcareous blocks bare of 
everythmg but shrub. Lastly we left on the right the Coroa do 
Gallo, two bars of limestone almost a fleur d'eau ; and at 5'45 p.m. 
we anchored on the port bank, a tract of sand thinly covered with 

This day we passed over immense wealth, of which, like philo- 
sophers, we took no heed. The Eio Pardo, lilve the Parauna, 
di'ains highlands rich in diamonds and gold, whilst the bed of the 
Pio das Yellias is a natural system of launders. In due time it 
will be thought, perhaps, advisable to turn and lay diy certain 
bends in this part of the stream, and there are several places 
where such an operation suggests itself. 

For the last two nights the " Whip-poor-will " and the '' Cury- 

* Opposite this place the map shows a (originally a porteress,) here means a baiTcd 
dwelling-house, '* As Porteiras," but from gate leading to a pasture, &c. 
the stream Ave did not sight it. Porteira 


angu" have been silent — they who so often had broken our sleep 
with their complaints and responses, delivered from the thickets 
along and across the stream. Men are certainly not numerous 
enough to destroy them. Perhaps their fovourite food abounds in 
some places, not in others, and thus the}^ may not inhabit the 
banks continuously. Or again, the cold wind is, we may conjec- 
ture, micomfortable enough to interrupt the concert. 




o clima doce, o campo ameno 

E entre arvoredo immenso, a fertil 'herva 
Na viQOsa extensao do aureo terreno. 

{Caramnrd, vii. 50.) 

Thursday, Sept. 12, 1867. — We had been idle j-esterday. I 
had given an inch, and very naturally my men had taken the usual 
ell. We began earl}" with the best of resolutions, doomed, how- 
ever, to be disappointed. Presently slack water prepared us for a 
fall, called by M. Liais the '' Cachoeira dos Ovos.* Here a mass 
of green-clad blocks and a break sent us fii'st to the left and then 
down midstream. Half an hour afterwards we reached O Desem- 
boque — the disemboguing.! A little further down an old Morador 
put off from the right bank to buy twist-tobacco, which the ^' Me- 
nino" had bought for seven and sold for twenty coi:>pers per yard. 
Yet the wdiole country is admirably fitted for growmg the weed. 
He gave us a terrible account of a rapid some seven miles down 
stream, declaring the fall to be six feet high, and nothing would 
persuade him to accompany us. Probably he had never seen it. 

Presently appeared on the left the opening of the Rio Lavado, 
or Washed River, so called from the diamond diggings in the 

* The *' Menino " nametl it " Barra das borque and '' Emborqiie " (p. 22), thepopu- 
Pedras," and an old man on the bank lai* pronunciation ; there is, however, no 
"Cachoeira do Ribeirao," from a little such word. Here a shallow tide-rip (ma- 
stream on the right which we passed at reta) crosses the bed, the effect of rocks 
9 '30 A.M. extending from the right bank. We de- 

+ In Minas Geraes there is a town called scended, stern foremost, in ten minutes, 

Desemboque. ]\I. Liais writes Desem- and took the right of a small Coroa. 


upper bed. The gap, 150 feet broad, appeared to be choked with 
green. We easily shot a small break garnished v.dth three lumps 
of stone, and went to the left of a Coroa and its shallow. Now a 
reach and banks, regular and artificial dykes, backed by a fine 
mass of blue Serra, prepai'ed us for the Cachoeira de Escaramu9a, 
the tenth and last serious obstacle on the Eio das Yellias. 

This rapid is formed by a broken wall extending nearly across 
stream from north-west to south-east. The hard clay is capped 
with iron, and the shapeless rocks are tilted up nearly vertically. 
In the centre is the main drop, about tlu-ee feet high, and here 
the channel would easily be opened.* We went half way down 
the shallow thalweg, close to the eastern bank, and after six 
minutes we made fast near a patch of bright green " water grass," 
hardly sweet enough to be good forage, whilst the pilot went 
ahead in the tender to i)rospect. Under the shady trees the rush 
and bubble of the cool waters made pleasant music, and it was 
interesting to see the old man balancing liimself like a rope-dancer 
upon his hollow log, tossed by the tide-rip. 

Below the principal fall were three channels. That lying to the 
right of the Coroa proved too shallow. Above the sand-bar was a 
bad broken passage, rejected because of the rocks to leeward. Be- 
tween them and the gravel-islet lay the clear way. The river was now 
at its lowest, and the drift timber showed that it had lately fallen 
two inches. The crev/ was obliged to clear away the rock-frag- 
ments, and the Eliza v/as led like a vicious mare down the hand- 
made channel. On the Coroa we found for the first time the 
bivalve shells of a ''river mussel," f which extends all down the 
Eio de Sao Francisco, and which is valued for fish bait. 

After working nearly an hour we made for the left bank, and 
anchored near the mouth of a small marsh drain, " S. Goncalo das 
Tabocas" (of the wild bamboos). Here the m.en changed their 
dripping clothes, and guarded against the rheumatics with a dram. 
At 2'20 P.M. we resumed work, passed sundry Cor6as,| and ran 
under the Serra do Paulista. At 4*30 p.m. we attacked the Cacho- 

* M. Liais proijoses to oijeu tlie right J The first was a .small Coroa Avith a 

channel, but this portion would, I venture break and snags ; the right bank a little 

to think, soon be filled up. below it showed heaps of black stone, in 

t It is the No. 1 of my small collection. Avhich sand, and frequently the blue calc'a- 

According to the pilots this mussel, when reous matter, reappeared. The next Coi'oa 

alive, keeps in deep water, and only shells was close to the Serra, which in the map 

are found in the shallows. is placed one mile too far east. 


eira das Prisoes — of the prisons. It is formed by a Coroa of 
large pebbles between which spring tufts of grass. On the northern 
end grew a clump of the largest trees yet seen. The right channel 
beino- too narrow, we took the left, and bumped along the islet, 
leaA'ino- the break to port. It was not easy to escape a snag in 
the middle, where there are also many rocks. The Mandim fish 
croaked like a frog and grunted like a pig under our bows. 

This day's sim had been burning hot, and till 1 p.m. we had no 
breeze. As we descend the atmosphere undergoes a notable 
change, like the air of the Mediterranean after the English Chan- 
nel. Nothing can be more delightfid than this sensation ; one 
feels thawed; the " snow gets out of the eyes," the ''ice leaves 
the bones," and man is restored to the passive enjoyment of Hfe 
in the medium where he was first born to live. Hence oui* sea- 
men, it is weU known, prefer the AVest African Station, despite its 
fevers and dysenteries. A "spell of cold" easily explains the 

Nor can we complam of heat, remembering that we are in 
S. lat. 17°, about the parallel of Mocha in Southern Arabia. 
Here we have 85° (F.), there 105^ The climate is tempered by 
the large area of sea compared with land, by the abundance of 
water causing a regular ventilation, by the height above sea-level, 
by the hours of darkness being nearly equal to those of light, 
and generally by the shape of the continent. At times, however, 
especially under the tree-shade, the vermin bite viciously. Of the 
larger nuisances, I have not yet seen dm-mg my Brazilian sojom-n 
the centipede, or any but spirit specimens of the lacraia, or scorpion, 
although Koster was stung by one, and m Patagonia the latter is 
plentiful as in El Hejaz. Hence the term is sometimes applied to 
the Bicho Cabelludo, or hairy caterpillar, called by the indigenes 
Tatm-ana. The Carrapato tick and the jigger, except in huts, are 
rare. We did not suffer from the Berne or blow-fly, nor from the 
Marimbombo, the ''Jack Spaniard" of trappers. The borrachudo 
(Culex penetrans) which gi'eatly affects cool and wooded Serras, at 
times gives trouble. The bite draws a point of blood which must 
be pressed out, and the place rubbed with ammonia, otherwise the 
itchmg becomes intolerable. I never travel without a large supply 
of " smelling salts," which are equally valuable agamst a snake or 
a headache. In this arid atmosphere the mutuca or motuca 
(which Southey mtes "mutuca") gadfly is rare. The Mosquito, 


generall}^ called mosquito pernilongo,* but here murigoca or muri- 
soca (Morisoca, Koster), at times pipes a small song, in " la shai-p," 
say the musical^ eared. The "bar," however, is as little neces- 
sary as is the " fever-guard." The insect is not a large variet}^, 
like the Yincudo of the coast, especially of the Mangrove rivers, 
and its threat is worse than its bite. In February and March, 
when the waters recede, and the banks, like those of an African 
river, are dressed in mire, the infliction is said to be severe. The 
most troublesome is the diminutive dark sand-fl}", known as Mu- 
cuim (Muquim, St. Hil.) or polvora. The Maruim or Moruim 
(Maroim, Koster ; Miruim, St. Hil. ; Meroh}", Gardner), burns 
like a "blister" of fire; it produces swellings, especially around 
the eyes, even in those who do not sufi'er from the Mosquito, and 
where swarms are found it is as well to wear gloves and a gauze 
veil connecting head and body gear. The Carapana and a smaller 
variety, the Puim, which delight in the Assacti (Hura Brasiliensis), 
also bite b}^ day. 

At 5*45 P.M., after much labour, short and sharp, we were not 
sorry to find on the left bank a clearing known as the Curralmho. 
A little above was the Corrego do Negro, with a white-tasselled 
Ingazeira f drooping over the water. A black morador sold us a 
gourd full of eggs at the rate of five per "dump," copper or 
penn3\ Here we saw fine sugar, castor plants 15 feet high, and 
magnificent cotton. It was a fine study of wild life. The screams 
of the wild fowl told us of a lakelet on the right bank, and as 
the after glow deepened, flights of wild duck and the splendid rose- 
tinted Colheireira+ winged their way across the stream. The 
moon, nearly at the full, and almost obscuring Jupiter, rose 
majestically above the misty wall, the Serra da Piedade, which 
bounded the view to the left. The shadow of the vegetation upon 
the far side, as the lunar disc tipped the tallest trees, was nearly 
as well painted upon the mirrory waters as in the soft blue air. 
The river seemed to sleep, and over its depths brooded unbroken 
silence, except when a fish sprang to its prey. The stars and 

* Mosqiuto, both in Spanish and Portu- of varions species, some bearing an edible 

gnese S. America, is jiroperly speaking a legnmen. 

"little fly," namely a sand-fly, and the t The "spoonbill," so called from its 

name which we have perv^erted is thoroughly chief peculiarity. The zoological name, 

appropriate. "Platalea Ayaya " or "Ajaja," is evidently 

+ Not Angaseiro as Halfeld has it. The derived from the Trpy Ay' uya. 
name, Inga or Enga, is applied to Mimosas 


planets rose with no glimmering indistinct beams, as they appear 
upon the horizon in northern lands ; the rays strike the eye at 
once in the full blaze of their beauty. At times a cold breath 
came from the highlands to the north-east, soon to be followed 
by a warm and violent gust from the north, which swept harm- 
lessly over our sheltered raft. Then recommenced the persistent 
clamom- of the " CuiyangTi" and the complaint of " Wliip -poor- 
will," whilst in the distance the wolves bayed theii* homage to the 
Queen of Night. What a contrast to the hum of civilisation and 
the glaring of the gas ! 

September 13. — The morning was warm — 65^ F. — and we were 
en route with the rising of the " fall-sun," whose smoke-stained 
disk was harmless as in England. Presently we passed the Pie- 
dade Pdver, which heads far to the north-east. 'f^ Under its 
influence the Eio das Yelhas siDreads out into a bay widening to 
1500 feet and half a mile — my companion was remmded of the 
Yazoo Kiver. The flat benches and ledges of the banlvs, fifteen 
to twenty-five feet high, show by theii' regularity the action of 
water. Half a mile below the Piedade we found the Cachoeira 
dos Dourados, t with rocks on the left ; the channel to the east is 
shallow, and a bottom of heav}^ pebbles causes a break. Below 
the Coroa we poled across to the western side, shaving two large 
trees in the stream. 

At 7'15 A.M. we passed the Corrego de Sao Goncalo,t which 
takes its name from an old ^illage and chapelry on the upper 
course. After making another channel by removing loose stones 
and safely cordelling down a difliculty,§ we came to another 
" Cachoeii-a do Desemboque," which M. Liais calls the most 
dangerous point on the Lower Kio das Velhas. || It is a compli- 
cated feature; at the north is a gravel islet covered with trees; 

* The mouth is 110 feet wide, and the people consider it one of the best fish for 

left jaw is garnished with a green patch the table, and the head and belly are the 

and fine trees ; the stream is said to be parts prefex-red. 

full of fish, and, though shallow, it gives % ]\t. Liais has called it Corrego de 

passage to canoes as far as its Serra. Maria Grande. 

t The Dourado, or gilt fish, the Aurata § Below the Corrego was the " meio 

of Dr. Levy, so called from its red yellow brabo (half fierce) Cachoeira das Tabo- 

belly and fins which flash in the sim, is quinhas " — of the little bamboos. _ Then 

one of the Salmonidse, found in salt water a long mass of black rock forms two distinct 

and in streams where it cannot escape to ledges, the northern stretching from south- 

the sea. It resembles a trout in shape of east to noi-th-west almost across the stream, 

the body, not the head, and it gi-ows to a II Here M. Liais has placed on the right 

length of two to four feet. It readily bank a tall block of hill, which does not 

swallows bait and devoux-s small fry. The exist. 


fi white and sancl}^ holm also well clothed, and below it a common 
sand-bar. The brawling river-channel on the right has not water 
enough for canoes. Here magnificent masses of green bulge out 
towards the stream, and are set off by large bunches of rusty- 
red yellow flowers, resembling from afar the autumnal and matu- 
ring leafage of the sugar maple (Acer saccharinus). This Paii 
Jahu,* when seen singly, is by no means beautiful ; the Sertanejos 
make tea of the blossoms, and the ashes are used for soap. We 
took the left of the islet down a thalweg with a small sand-bank 
and two breaks in the centre. The second was the more danger- 
ous; a rock below the surface threw back the flood in white foam. 
"We then poled to the north of the Coroa and down the centre, 
inclining to the right. 

Followed a confusion of small sand bars, f while in front rose 
the " Serra do Brejo," trending from east-north-east to west-north- 
west. The height is from 1300 to 1500 feet, and there are two 
distances, the nearer forested, whilst the farther is dyed blue with 
air. We halted for an hour at 1*30 p.m., when a high northerly 
wind set strong in our teeth ; it lasted till 4 r.M., when it fell to 
the deadest calm. These breezes greatly retard progress, as the 
men seem to disdain the shelter of the bank. A charming reach 
then appeared, a long i^erspective of corresponding sides, some 
ninety feet high, into which ran large blocks of stratified and 
weathered stone. Below the small " Coroa da Carioca,"! (of the 
white man's house,) the Rio das Pedras opens on the left a mouth 
of ninet}^ feet from jaw to jaw. It comes from a distance of ten 
leagues, but at this season it is dry ; such indeed is the case with 
all but the ver}^ largest drains. 

The Coroa-cum-Ilha do Cahir d'Aguia was the largest we had 
yet seen ; it took us fifteen minutes to run b}' it, and in England 
it would have been a prett\' little estate. The narrow right hand 
channel is garnished with splendid forest-trees, faced on the left 

* Tlie i)llots callcJ it ]\tarmelo ilo Mate, Buotcnds .1 long island, antl tlie " Coroa do 

ov wild quince. Tlie Jaliu is also the name Cantinho " (of the little covner) is a donble 

of a large Sihinis, not found in tlie llio islet, with dark rusty jiehbles to the south 

das Velhas, but abundant in the llio de and tall trees to the north. 
Sao Francisco, the Upper Paraguay, the ij: From Carfba, a" Carib," a white man, 

Tidtc, and other streams. a Portuguese, and "Oca," a house. " Car- 

+ The first was a shallow break, tlie ioca " was often ajiidied to a small fort, 

"Cachocira da Cannella ;" it is just below and hence the name of the suburb of llio 

the "Coroa do Curral," a deep strong de Janeiro. This Coroa has many snags 

current with the passage on the left. The on the right, the swiftness of the stream to 

"Cachoeira do Cotovclo " (of the elbow) the left sweeps them away. 


by second-gTowtli and scrub.* About 5 p.m. we anchored near the 
left bank, at the " Porto da Palma," a i:)eculiar formation. Pro- 
jecting into the stream, and flaked and caked with the mud of the 
last flood, was a natural pier 150 yards long by twenty deep, with 
a dip of 5° and a westerly strike. The substance is the ''Pedra 
de Amolar," an argillaceous schist of greenish colour, sometimes 
bare, more often capped with ironstone ; the cleavage is in all 
du'ections, the subaerial portion is veiy fragile, and the lamina- 
tions vary from wafer thickness to a foot deep. A Httle below 
on the right bank there is a sister formation. AVe picked up 
sj^ecimens of this clay shale ; as whetstones they were too easily 

The river plain on the left bank is baked to white mud and 
sprinkled with silt, showing that it is regularly inundated ; small 
drains bear scattered lines of trees, and the rest of the vegetation 
is mostly bitterish water-grass, which will not feed cattle without 
salt. To the south-west the land, as the forest shows, is bej^ond 
the reach of water ; here the soil must improve. The flat had 
lately been burnt, and the shrubby trees, well warmed, had put 
forth the tenderest green leafage in lieu of the scorched brown 
tatters that hung loosely to the twig tops. 

This evening was the perfection of chmate, fresh yet balm}-. 
The boys fished successfully ; everj^thmg bit voraciously, even at 
the bird-bait. Five douradinhos-'- and eight mandins soon lay 
crimped upon the ground, and when the line, nearly the thickness 
of a little finger, was left in the water, it was cut, the pilot said, 
by a pu^anha. Again the noise of water-fowl told us that a lakelet 
was not distant. Clouds liigh m ah' flitted over the moon's full 
disk, which threw across the water a pillar of tremulous fire, 
and crested with red the ripples tliat rose from the inky sui'face 
swirlmg under the farther bank. The mobile physiognomy of 
this river is not the least of its charms. Its expression is changeful 
as that of the human face. Yesternight it was still and shallow 
as a mountam tarn, now it is swift and deep, covering the back- 
waters with flecks pjid curds of foam. 

Presently the eclipse came on, and the dark shadow of our globe 
creeping slowly over the disk of the old "harvest moon," was 

* The left bank sliowed tolerable soil in it was not nearly so fertile as tlie otlier side. 
the beginning of this day's v/ork, but the f Considered to be a small species of the 

improvement was only temporary. As a rock doiirado. 


shown by reflection in the new moon's arms ; the gibbus of the 
crescent, however, faced to the south. There were none of the 
sinister appearances, rather appalhng than imposing, which 
accompany solar obscm'ation, the lurid copper-coloured aii', the 
slinking of beasts and the silence of birds, and in man the feel- 
ing that even the sun is not above or beyond change. Here the 
light slowly waned, the various voices of frogs and night birds 
came from swamp and forest, bats flitted about, fireflies lit up 
the copse, and the fish splashed merrily to catch the gentle 
breeze. As might be expected, the human beings there present 
hardly noticed the phenomenon by looking upwards; a comet 
would not have roused their attention.* Then the glorious 
satellite climbing the zenith finally emerged from the shadow, and 
again shed silvery light and gladness over the nether world. By 
^yily of anti-cHmax we " turned in." 

September 14. — We set out at 6 a.m. in warm and perfectly still 
air; foam was floating in hues down stream, and curdling near 
the banks where the deep water lies. An hour's work took us to 
the Ilha da Maravilha, where the Corrego do Lameh-ao t enters 
the left bank. On the opposite side appeared a good *' improve- 
ment," the soil was excellent, and a fence of stakes and poles had 
been run down to the waterside. Presently we heard, for the 
first time, from a tall Jatoba tree, whose fruits are its delight, the 
hoarse roar of the Guariba monkey (Mj^etes m^sinus, or Stentor). 
It is here known by the general words bugio, and barbado, the 
bearded; the French colonists call it alouate. John Mawe 
declares that it snores so loud when sleepmg, that it astonishes 
travellers ; the enlargement of the larynx into a square bony box 
which causes the disproportionate noise, is now familiar to natu- 
ralists. This brown monkey was eaten by the Indians, and in 
wilder parts BraziUans do not disdain it. The pilot mentioned a 
similar species with a long fine black coat, which may be the 
Mycetes Beelzebub. He declared that the roaring of the guariba was 

* Mr. Buckle, whose first volume liatl appearances whicli in other countries would 

the good fortune to be designated by a stimvilate his imagination. Who that has 

poiJuJar writer ' ' a farrago of energetic ever inhabited an earthquake country woidd 

nonsense and error," remarks (i. 345) think of drea'ding an eclipse, unless at 

' ' there probably never has been an ignor- least it be connected in the popular mind 

ant nation whose superstition has not been with earthquakes ? 

excited by eclipses." Possibly in the New f "Of the big miid;" the pilot gave 

World, where the operations of nature are this name to an opening in the right bank, 
on so grand a scale, man is steeled against 


a sign of the Rainy Season drawing near, and noted a variety of 
other small sj^mptoms, such as the trooping of butterflies in moist 
places, the louder frog-concerts, the hum and chirp of the Cicada, 
the biting of tlie sand flies, and the song of the Sabia, that Prmce 
of the Merubidae. Durmg the last three days also, the soft and 
balnw atmosphere had been distiu"bed by gusts of wind, vapours 
here la}' upon the ground, there accmnulated into clouds, and dis- 
tant sheet lightnmg flashed from the mists massing round the 
horizon. The smoke of the praii'ie-fires rose in columns, and 
they might have beeli mistaken for the fumes of a steamer ; by 
night those that were near glowed like live coals, whilst the more 
distant gleamed blue. AVe prepared for an Ember week of equi- 
noctial gales, but we hoped to be far down the Sao Francisco 
River before the beginning of the wet summer, which usually 
dates from the middle of October. As will appear, we had de- 
ceived ourselves. 

About 10 A.M. we passed on the right bank the Ribeii'ao do 
Corrente ; a small stream, which greatly swells dmdng the inmi- 
dations, was trickling down it : the line is not navigable, but the 
waters abound in fish, and these places vriR act as preserves when 
life is driven from the main line by steamers. The embouchure 
is marked by a columnar conical mass, which suggests an enor- 
mous cypress formed by vines and creei)ers swai'ming up a broken 
tree-shaft. Here a dog swimming across the stream showed little 
apprehension of the "Jacare" (Crocodilus sclerops), and the 
people declare that those of the lakes are dangerous, whilst the 
river-caj^mans * are not. Lately, however, a woman was carried 
off in the Ribeira de Iguape by this congener of the dreaded 
African crocodile. It is said to prefer its meat "high," as does 
its big brother, and before deglutition to break the bones of its 
victims b}' blows with its ponderous head. According to Koster, 
the wild people eat it, but the negroes will not touch the meat ; 
even the Gabams (Negroes of the Gaboon), who are believed to be 
cannibals. Both on the Rio das Yelhas and the Sao Francisco we 
often saw the Jacare protruding its snout from the water, basking 
in the mud, or lurking amongst the drift wood. No specimen 
exceeded five feet in length ; in the Apui'e and the equinoctial 

* In old French, Caymand and Cajinande willing to move. It becomes unwieldy 
are equivalent to " faineant ; " perhaps the with, age, but in youth it is very agile, 
early travellers found the huge lizard un- 



rivers it grows to four or five times that size. The negroes, it is 
well known, use the crocodile gall in their philters and poisons ; 
the molars of the Jacare are here hung round the neck as talis- 
mans against disease. The musky smell of the meat must deter 
any one hut an ''Indian" from using it, and the people ignore 
the alligator- skin hoots which Texas invented. 

A lumpy liill, grassy ahove and forested below, and stretching 
from north-east to south-west, strikes the stream at this point, 
and bends it from a straight course to the south-west and the 
north-east ; this " sack " is seven miles long instead of one. 
Present^ we i^assed a large Fazenda on the right bank of perpen- 
dicular clay, some thu'ty-five feet high ; it belongs to Dr. Luis 
Francisco Otto of Guaicuhj^, and we begin to acknowledge the 
odour of civilization. After a few obstructions,* we rested at 
noon on the left bank, sheltered from the strong north wind ; 
here was a mass of bluish stone, which appeared to be finety 
laminated calcaire when it was only clay shale. 

Resuming our way, we passed to port the Corrego das Pedras 
do Burit}^,! where the great bend terminates, and two nameless 
influents — I mention them, because they are ''Corregos de 
Morada," where men have settled, and which afford a good '' situa- 
cao," giving value to the lands adjacent. At 4 p.m. hove in sight 
a tall blue wall of mountains, denoting the line of the Rio de 
Sao Francisco; the crew disputed about the name,| and also 
about a couple of Corregos further down.§ 

At 5 P.M. we made fast to the right bank of the Illia da Tabua, 
wliich the pilots called Ilha Grande. It has a large Coroa to the 
south, with a mound of stiff clay, tree-grown and root-compacted, 
extending from south-east to north-west. The left arm of the 
river is here greenish in the centre, and beautifully clear under 
the banks ; on the other side we saw a farm with a line of 

* A .sunken sand-bank (Areao) wliicli and " CoiTego do Tamburil. " The Avikl 

)uust he passed on the left, a Coroa in the fig here attains a great size, and sometimes 

bend called Saco do Jequi, and a double six stems spring up together. The Tam- 

tide-rip inclosing smooth water; this is buril, pronoimced Tamburi (M. Liais "Tani- 

formed by a beach (praia) on the right, bury "), also called Vinhatico do Campo, is 

which narrows the stream to 120 feet, a tall hardwood tree. The *'Menino" 

"t " CoiTego gi'ande dos Buritis. " Liais. insisted that the " Tamburil " influent 

J One named it SeiTa do Jemipapo, and should be called the " Gramelleira," and 

another the Sen-a da Tabua ; it may have that it is " de morada," not navigable 

been the Serra da Porteira (Liais) on the but coming from afar. The mouth is eighty 

right or eastern bank of the junction. feet wide from jaw to jaw. 

§ In the map "Corrego da Gamelleira " 


noble trees, whilst the north is a tangle of wood, thicket, and 

For the first time we found the Coroa well stocked with birds.* 
The Urubii scavenger, regardless of the rifle, expanded his wings 
to the sun, and looked as if he w^ore a silver back. Small Cha- 
radriadse hopped gieesomeh' about the sands, together mth Ma- 
nuelsinho da Coroa — little Emanuel of the Sandbar — a Scolopax 
with red-stockinged stilts, much resemblng our sandpiper. The 
South Ameiican plover (Yanneau d'Amerique, Yanellus cayen- 
nensis, Neuw.), also with red stockings and pretty variegated 
plume, followed the cattle tracks. Spanish America calls it after 
its cry, Tero-Tero, the Portuguese prefer Quero-Quero (I want ! 
I want ! ) and Espanta boiada, " Startle Cattle : "f its manners 
are those of the peewit, it haunts marshes and pastures, it seems 
never to sleep, and it is a great plague to the sportsman. In 
remarkable contrast ^^itli its unpleasant vivacity, is the solemn 
Acara, or heron with the long tliin legs supporting a body alwaj^s 
delicately white and clean. A tern very like the Sterna hii'undo, 
looking snow-Avhite against the slatey blue sky, fluttered in the 
lower ail' with the rising and falling flight of the butterfl}'. The 
Gaivota, or gull, which the Tupys term Atyaty, or Cara-carai, 
dark-backed and red-billed, reminded my companion of those 
wliich show communication between Memphis and the Mexican 
Gulf, one of the colonies which I saw upon the Tanganyika Lake. 
The whole flock rose and with circlings andswoopings followed and 
seemed determined to fight the dog Negra, occasionally varying the 
exercise b}' feinting to assault the men. They were enraged at our 
intruding upon theu' i)rivate j)roi)erty, and with proverbial stupidity 
they told by screams the secrets of their menage. We retaliated 
by taking their eggs, I which were about the size of a plover's, with 
^' splotches " of light and dark chocolate brown upon a dirty 
cream-colom'ed ground. They revenged themselves by a persis- 
tent '' corrobory " round our camp-fii'e, which effectually banished 

* The number, however, gi-adually in- banks, where an npper coating of mud 

creased below the Parauna River. ju-events the drifting of the wind ; ' ' the 

+ Thus Sr. Ladislao dos Santos Titara eggs, three or four in each nest, are of a 

sings, — dirty light green or brown, with patches as 

Yao quero quero pelo ar soltando. ^^ ^^^^^^^ .^^^ood ; when fresh they are very 

good eating and much like puffins' eggs. " 
t So on the lower Purus, in July the Ascent of the River Purus, by W. Chand- 
eggs of the Gaivota may be picked up by less. Jouraal Royal Geo. Soc, vol. xxx-si. 
scores from the nests, round holes, four IS 66. 
inches across and three deep, in the sand- 

N 2 

180 THE HKJHLA^'DS OF THE BllAZlL. [chap. xii. 

sleep, and they were viciously ready by early dawn to " see the 
last" of us with taunts and execrations. 

The " Menino " found ui^on the sands the parallel lines which 
might easily have been mistaken for cart-ruts ; he declared it to 
be the sign of the dreaded Sucuriti,* or Watersnake, whilst 
Chico Diniz declared that the straightness of the trail showed a 
small Jacare. This hideous boa mostly haunts stagnant waters, 
occasionally visiting rivers ; it is amphibious, and when not dis- 
turbed by man and prairie fires, it attains the enormous length of 
thirty feet. I heard of one that measured sixty, and swallowed a 
bullock ; in old travellers we read of men sitting down upon a 
fallen tree-trunk, which presently began — like the whale with the 
fire on its back — to change location. The " Indians " eat the 
Sucui'iu which, like most serpents, is savoury and wholesome 
food ; the civilized confine themselves to eels. The skin used to 
be tanned for boots and housings, now it is kept chiefly as a 

At Maquine, a morador threw into the river, before I could 
secure it, a fine specimen of the Surucucu, or (Jurucucti, first 
mentioned by Marcgraf. It is the Lachesis mutus of Dandin, 
the Crotalus mutus of Linnaeus, the Bothrops Surucucu of Spix 
and Martins, the Xenodon rhabdocephalus of my friend. Dr. Otho 
Wucherer (Zool. Soc. London, Nov. 12, 1861), and the " great 
viper " of Cayenne and Sminam, which is suj^posed to cause death 
in six hours. The length of this trigonocephal varies from three 
to eight and even to nine feet ; its skin is of a du'ty tawny yellowy 
wdth dark brown lozenges on the back, and the broad head gives 
it, to the connoisseur, a pecuharly vicious appearance. It is 
reported to be attracted by fire, but rarely to injure travellers. 
There are two species of this snake, the less common being the 
*' Sururucu bico de jaca." 

The other serpents of which the people spoke were the fol- 

* The Boa Anacondo of Dandin (the and i^ronounce "Sucuriu." It is also 

Boa Murina of Mart., Ciinectes naurinus). called " Cobra de Yeado " because supposed 

"Sucuriu," properly " Sucury," is derived to be fond of venison, and Spix and Mar- 

from "Suu" beast, and "cuiy" or "curu" tins heard from M. Duarte Nogueira that 

a snorer, a snoi-ter, alluding to its sibilant it has attacked a man on horseback, and 

powers. According to Prince ]\Iax. (ii. has even swallowed an ox. A Brazilian 

172) this boa is called " Sucuriu " in gentleman assured me that in Maranham 

Minas, and " Sucuriuba " on the Rio Bel- he had seen the terrible reptile swimming 

monte. Pizarro prefers "Sucruyu. " Some across the stream with a pair of horns j^ro- 

write '* Sucuruju " and even "Sucuriuh," truding from its mouth. 


lowing. The rattle-snake (Crotalus horriclus), is known as the 
Cascavel (not Cascavella, as some write), a "hawkshell," and 
the Tupvs called it " Maraca," a rattle, or boicininga, from 
"boia," or ''boya," a serpent, and *' cininga," a chocalho, or 
bell. It is well proportioned, in length between foiu' and eight 
feet, and brown gre}^ with lozenges of lighter and darker colour. 
It prefers stony and hilly ground, where it can easily sun itself, 
and has a kind of domestic habit of maldng a home. It is 
very lazy and harmless, except when troubled ; hence, probably, 
its fame for listening most wiUmgiy to the voice of the serpent- 
charmer. The rattles* soon give warning, and it may be killed 
with a switch ; cattle are often poisoned by it, but I have not 
heard in the Brazil of a man dying by its bite. Possibly the 
dampness of the climate may modify the venom. The fiercest 
of the lance-headed vipers, and emphatically declared to attack 
mankind, like the Cobra de CapeUo of the Guinea Coast, is 
the Jararoca (Cophias or Yiper atrox ; Bothi^ops Neu\^iedii of 
Spix and Martins, alias Crespidocephalus atrox). It is of a 
du'ty dark yellow, turning to brown-black about the tail, and 
although Koster gives it nme feet, it seldom exceeds five feet 
in length, and the Jararacussu is the same reptile when full 
grown and old. The Caninina often mentioned by old \\Titers, 
is a Coluber not much dreaded, and the papo-ovo or egg-eater 
much resembles it. The Cobra Coral is so named by the people 
from its resemblance to a necklace of mixed corals ; the term, 
however, is applied to four, five, or more animals of difi'erent 
species. The common Coral, Elaps coralHnus, called Coluber 
fulvus by Linnaeus, who saw it when the beautiful colours were 
tarnished by alcohol, has black, carmine-red, and greenish-white 
transversal rings upon a smooth thin body. All declare, both in 
books and viva voce, that it is as venomous as it is charming ; 
but the fangs, though formed for offence, are so placed as to 
be almost useless. Another Coral (Coluber venustissimus), is 
also ringed with tricolor ornaments, but the head and gape are 
larger than that before-mentioned. A third ringed snake is the 
Coluber formosus, with an orange-coloured head, and not veno- 
mous. Lastly, there is the Cobra Cipo, or whipsnake (Coluber 

* Dr. Renault of Barbacena declares that the rattle (sonnette), is perpendicular in the 
male and horizontal in the female. 


bicarinatus, the Cypo of Koster), with a line of carinated scales 
on each side : it is often confounded with the Cobra Yerde, a 
fine, green, harmless Coluber. I have killed it in a tree despite 
the praj^ers of the b3^standers, who declared that it can project 
itself like an arrow. The same tale is told of the Cananina, which 
is mentioned as a " fl^^ing snake " by Koster. 

When first visiting the Brazil, travellers come prepared to 
meet serpents on every path, their minds are brimful of beasts, 
every spider is deadly, the}^ suspect the intentions of the cock- 
roach, and a thorn-prick suggests a scorpion. Even the un- 
fortunate Macaco fl}^, the African Millipede (piolho de Cobra), 
the Amphisb£ena or Slow- worm ( " Miii das Sambas " ), the 
innocuous " Dryophis," and the Gitaranaboia * are capable of 
dealing sudden death. Presently the}^ find out that the rep- 
tiles have retreated before man, either to the seclusion of the 
maritime regions, or into the Far West. As in Africa, so here, 
" snake " means something more or less fatal. I presume that 
man's aversion to this harmless and maligned animal is partly 
traditional, derived from the old Hebrew m3^th, and, to a certain 
extent, instinctive ; the brightness of the e3^e, upon which Mr. 
Luccock could not look, and the form of the head, a curious 
resemblance to humanity, being the most remarkable points. I 
have heard, even amongst the educated, of an inherited horror of 
the snake, but this must rank with the tales of the Serpent kings, 
and with the " Indian" fancy that a man when bitten must not 
look at a woman. 

The Brazilians inherit from the old inhabitants f a sensible 
way of treating snake bites, but their system admits of improve- 
ment. The savages apj)lied above the wound a ligatui'e, wliich 

* Tliis Insect, of which the traveller will to Koster, is the West Indian Obeah. But 
often hear, is described as aboiit two inches the word is evidently a corrujition of Man- 
long, with an oblong body, a snake-shaped dingo, the old and incorrect form of 
head one third of its total length, and Mandenza, a Semi-Semitic Moslem race, 
wingslike those of the tree cricket (Cigarra), well known at " Sa Leone." Wonderful 
but much longer. The proboscis folds tales are told of these "Curadores de 
under the abdomen like the blade of a pen- Cobra," how they could handle the most 
knife ; this stylet is supposed to be thrust venomous reptiles, cure the patient (curado 
forth like a bayonet when the insect flies de cobras) by wrapping a tamed snake 
straight as an arrow, and as it is always round his head and shoulders, or by re- 
blind it victimises ever}i;hing which comes citing magical words, or by the use of 
in its way. " contas verdes, " literally " gi'een beads," 

1" And from the Africans. I could not, which were probably nothing but the blue 

however, find any traces of the "Mandi- Popo bead of which every West African 

guciro " or serpent charmer, Avho, according traveller has left an account. 


prevents the blood reacliiiig the heart for some time ; the civi- 
lized bind it so tightly that mortification of the limb has followed. 
Both indulge in a butchei'-like st^de of sui'geiy, which has been 
imitated by the scientific man.* They almost always admin- 
ister as sudorifics spiiituous cU'inks in large quantities, and this 
is the secret of the cure ; the action of the heart is restored, 
the venom is expelled, and the brain returns to its normal 
functions. "When the patient, who mostly complains of a 
'' sinking " sensation, as in cholera, becomes intoxicated he is 
safe. On the other hand they mix with the alcohol what is 
either harmless, as lemon juice, or spirit in which a Cobra Coral 
has been macerated, or what is positively injurious, as mercurials. 
There are many simples in general use, such as the Herva 
Cobreii'a, the Ai'istolochia, the leaves of the Plumieria obovata, 
and the grease of the Teyu, tree-lizard, f wdiilst Aves and 
Paternosters do the rest. '' On dit que les sauvages guerissent 
tres bien les morsures des serpens, et Ton m'a meme assure 
que parmi eux personne ne meurt de cet accident." + Evidenth' 
the civilized man ought not to die unless he delay too long to 
apply ammonia, eau de luce, or the " whiskj'-cure." 

Oiu* last night on the Eio das Yellias recalled to mind the 
words of an eloquent BraziHan writer. " I cast my eyes now on 
the stream spanned by a line of fii*e reflected from the planet 
Jupiter, then on the banks whose beautiful woods concealed 
the rich champaigns. The river, a natural line of navigation, 
despised by and despising art, ricli in a thousand kinds of 
produce, fertilizing in its sinuous course millions of acres, was 
full of all but human life ; to its silent banks here and there a 
canoe was tied, and from its vraters rose the log which the 
solitary fisherman makes his perch; while at rare intervals a 

* Thus IsL Sellow records treatment hy certainly not the case in the Sertao of these 

scarification, repeated bimiing with gnn- days, Koster mentions the Tijaa9u, which 

powder, and peppering wdth Cantharides. he believes to be the Teguixin; the Cakngo, 

Labat, to mention no others, scarifies the a smaller variety also edible; the \-ibra, 

wound, Koster obsers^es, ' ' le rum est and the lagartixa, a house and wall lizard, 

aussi administre jusqu'a produire ri\Tesse. " a vivacious little animal which destroys 

. + The Teiu or Tejii (Lacerta Teguixin, flies and other insects. Some travellei's 

Linn.), is black spotted ^^ith yellow, and, have confounded the Teiu with the Jacare, 

including the tail, four feet long. Yves as the old Greek who wrote the Periplus 

L'E%T:eux writes Tyvu, Marcgraf Toiuguafu, did at Zanzibar. The good missioner (Yves) 

M. Denis Till (Tupinambis monitor), and specifies the Taroiiire as a grand lizard, but 

declares with St. Hil. that the white, his editor corrects him, and declares the 

savoury, and delicate meat is eaten by TaranjTa to be smaller than the Tiii, 
Brazilians in good circumstances. This is + Pi-ince Max. ii. 294. 



[chap. XII. 

dwelling-pLice, and clearings that ignore civilized agriculture, 
dotted the forest-shore. Such misery and so much want in the 
Old World ! — here such neglected wealth, and so much that 
can make life happy ! Lands that will fructify every manner 
of plant and grain cast into their hosom, shoals of fish to feed 
the poor, a wealth of precious stones and ores, a channel easily 
connecting with the outer world ! But the age shall come, and 
the day has dawned, when men shall flock to these unknown 
regions, when gardens, quays, and works of art, shall adorn the 
river side, when town and village shall whiten the plain, and 
when the voices of a happy people shall be heard where the 
profound solitude and silence are now broken only by the moan 
of the dove, by the scream of the night-bird, and by the baying of 
the wild dog." 
So be it ! 




" A descrip9ao das scenas de natureza deleita, a dos costumes instrue." 
" Aquelle que so deleita toma se superficial, o que so instrue, aborrecivel ; 
casemos pois estas duas qualidades," — A. G. Teixeira e Soitza. 

A HOUSE on the left bank kept up diuing the night a red 
fire, which shone through the dark trees, another evidence that 
we were approaching a centre of settlement. After a few days of 
traveller's life and liberty, of existence in the open aii', of sleej:) 
under the soft blue skies, of daj's without neck-ties, the sen- 
sation of returning to ''Society" is b}^ no means pleasant; all 
have felt, although, perhaps, all will not own the unamiable 
effort which it has cost them. The idea of entering a town 
after a spell on the Prairie or on the River, is distasteful to 
me as to any Bedouin of the purer breed, who must stuff his 
nostrils with cotton to exclude the noxious atmosphere. I 
looked forward with little i:>leasure to breaking up my crew, 
and to entering Guaicuhy. 

The first of Ember Week (Sunday, September 15) showed 
a warm cloudy morning with a north wind, contradictory signs. 
We passed on the left the Currego da Tabua, it comes from 
the Serra of that name, a contmuation of the Palma range ; 
about two miles from the mouth is an AiTaialsinho, or little 
village. Presently rose before us the peaky Serra do Jenipapo. 
The uniform river-banks would in Europe be called a forest ; 
here they seemed utterl}- civilized, with their Coqueh'o palms, 
their huts and vegetable-plots, and their scatters of old and new 


clearings. The river widened out and became somewhat shallow ; 
the sole obstacle w^as a sunken rock known as the Pan Jahii. 

We " cleaned ourselves " — literally not funnily — and prepared 
for delivering letters of introduction, which, being directed to 
absentees, all proved useless. About 10 a.m. we made fast at 
the Porto da Villa do Guaicuhy, the port being a rough clay 
bank, covered with thicket, through which a path is cut to the 
upper settlement. Presently we received a visit from the Dele- 
gate of Police, Sr. Leandro Hermeto da Silva, and sundry 
friends ; he kindly detached a sergeant to find us a lodging at 
the Porto da Manga, a few hundred j^ards down stream, and 
close to the junction of the two great rivers, das Velhas and 
de Sao Francisco. We w^ere soon established in the house of 
Major Cypriano Medeiro Lima, who had offered us its hosj^i- 
tality at Diamantina. It was in the usual st3de, mud and wattle 
walls, containing a well-ventilated room which boasted of a 
table, a dark closet with a pair of '' catres," or cots, one with 
a bottom of cow-hide, the other wdtli leathern thongs. A pas- 
sage nearly blocked up by the big water-pot led to a kitchen 
distinguished by thin stones upon the ground, and to a little 
railed compound well calculated for the accommodation of beggars, 
pigs, and dogs. 

Here a mature old age ends the stream which w^e have accom- 
panied from its babyhood for the last three months : this, how- 
ever, is not a Thanatos, it is a Mokshi, an absorption. It was 
impossible to contemplate without enthusiasm the meeting of 
the two mighty waters which here lay mapped. The '^Eiver 
of the Old Squaws " sweeps gracefully round from north-east to 
nearly due west, and flowing dov/n a straight reach about 550 
feet broad,* merges into the Sao Francisco, which flows from 

* M. Lials gives 167 metres. The figures long. (Rio) 1° 43' 35", maybe considered 

of the junction are as follows : the Rio almost in a straight line of prolongation of 

das Velhas discharges 209 metres per Rio de Janeiro, Barhacena, and Sahara, 

second, and lies above sea-level, 2,365 The distance from the arc of the great 

palms (Halfield), or 567 metres (Gerber), circle uniting these points is only five geo- 

or 432 (Liais at the confluence). I made graphical leagues to the west, although 

the Manga 1774 feet high (B. P. 209° '40, the old maps placed it far to the east. The 

temp. 45°). Before the confluence the deviation from the direct line prolonged from 

Sao Francisco is 359 metres broad, more Rio de Janeiro to the Barra do Rio das 

than doul)]ing the Rio das Velhas, and the Velhas, is only 3800 metres, about half a 

debit is 446 cubic metres. The limited Brazilian league, or y^o^d of the total dis- 

discharge is 655 cubic metres per minute. tance, 656 kilometres, or 5° 55' 31 " "4 

The Barra or mouth of the Rio das (355 geogi-aphical miles). 
Yelhns, smith lat. 17° 11' 54', and west 


the east to receive it. The right bank of the Eio das Yelhas 
is of stiff clay standing almost upright. On the other side is 
a little Chacara with the plots of Castor-shrub which stretch in 
blue-green tufts towards the water, backed by a climip of 
oranges and bananas. Beyond it, at the point projecting into 
the united rivers, is a matted forest of wild figs, Pan Jahii, and 
other wild gTowth. 

I remained at the Manga from the 15th to the 18th of Sep- 
tember ; the house, which had been long unoccupied, was well 
tenanted by the Bicho do pe, and two of them chose to lodge with 
me. It is a beast of mam^ names, Pulex penetrans, P. subintrans, 
or P. minimus. The old French Missionary Yves D'Evreux 
(1613 — 14), calls it le Thon, and the modern Gauls speak of 
" des biches " * — thus the neo-Latin tongues borrow from one 
another, only changing the terminal vowels. I have also seen 
Brulot and " Pou de Pharaon," although Pharaoh was never in 
America. The Tupys Imew it as " Tumbyra." The Spaniards 
chose Nigua and Chigua,t from which again the French took 
Chique, and the term has descended to us in various forms : 
Chigre, Cheger, Chegre, Chegoe, Chigo, Chigoe, Chigger,]: and 
finally the Jigger, thus immortalised by the Negro minstrel : 

Rose, Rose, lubly Rose, 

I wish I may be jig-gered if I don't lub Rose. 

This nuisance especially aftects coffee-stores and deserted 
abodes : § the old travellers bitterly complained of it, and carried 
camphor in their boots, being careful never to go barefoot. '^ All 
persons of whatever rank," says Southey, speaking of Santa 
Catharina, the island (iii. 861), '' carefully wash their feet every 
night, as the best preservative against the Chiguas," — which it is 
not. A traditional naturalist, wishing to carry home a live speci- 

* "Bicho" in Portuguese is a veiy Southern States of the Union, is, I believe, 

comprehensive word, as Sir Charles Napier a kind of tick which, like the Carrapato, 

said of Hindostani; it applies to everything, affects the woods. It does not hatch its 

from a flea to an elephant, and even to a young in the body, but the result is a 

steam-engine (bicho de fogo, bicho feio), i^ainful pimple. 

Koster pleasantly relates how, being a Pro- § According to Koster (ii. xix.), it is not 

testant, he was called in the out-stations found in the plains of the Xorthern Sertao, 

"Bicho." and some people in parts badly infested 

+ "Chica" is also used, and M. F. Denis, have been so much preferred by the insect, 

the editor of Yves D'Evreux (Notes, p. 416) that they were compelled to leave the 

writes ' ' Xiga. ' ' country. 

t The "Chigtrer" or "rod bucj" of the 

188 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. xiii. 

men, would not be operated upon, induced mortification, and 
became a '' martyr to science." I have often seen boys with their 
toes dotted over, as if i)epper had been sprinkled upon them, but 
no death has been recorded, and I have heard that careless 
negroes have lost their feet by amputation. 

The Jigger, seen under a microscope, has the appearance of a 
small flea with well developed bod}^ and of somewhat lighter 
colour. It crawls more quickh^, but does not jump so well as the 
ordinary pulex; the popular belief is that the male is never 
found. It burrows under the nails of the hands and feet, espe- 
cially the latter ; I have extracted as many as six in one day, but 
never from the fingers. The sole is also a favourite place ; in 
fact the Bicho colonizes wherever the skin is thick — hence its 
preference for negroes. Its proper habitat is between the cuticle 
and the flesh, into which it does not penetrate, and where there 
is not lodging room it falls ofl' after drawing blood. Having en- 
sconced itself bodily, the jigger proceeds to increase and multiply ; 
the small dark point develops to the size of a pea, and can move 
no more. The light-coloured bag is enormously distended with 
eggs of a slightly yellow tint, and after producing her fine family 
the parent departs this life. 

The small livid poiiit which appears about the nails is generally 
accompanied b}' a certain amount of titillation which old stagers 
enjoy; they describe it as sui generis, and make it almost deserve 
the name of a new pleasure. Men with tender skins easily feel 
the bite, and remove the biter before it can penetrate. The}^ 
then send for a negro, alwaj's the best practitioner, and he pro- 
ceeds to extract the intruder with a join in preference to a needle. 
Should the sack be burst, and the fragments not be all extracted, 
the place festers, and a bad sore is the result ; some sufl'erers 
have had to wear slii:)pers, and have walked lame for weeks. The 
wound is finally cicatrized with some light alkali, even snuff and 
cigar ashes are used, and a little arnica completes the cure. 

If any place bear the stamp of greatness aflixed b}^ Nature's 
hand, it is this Junction. It is the half-way house on the mighty 
riverine vallej^ ; it has, or rather it can have, water-traflic with 
Sahara, Diamantina, Curvello, Pitangui, Para (or Patafugio), 
Dores de Indaia, Campo Grande, Paracatu, Sao Romao, and the 
other settlements on the Siio Francisco River. It links together 
the Pi'(-)Yinr'os of (lovaz, Pernambuoo, Pahin, and Minas, and 


before many years tlie steamer and tlie railwa}' will connect it 
with the Capital of the Empire. I shall ink more paper than 
enough for the present settlements ; thus, when m}^ forecast of 
then* future greatness shall have been justified, the traveller may 
compare his Present with m}- Past, and therein find another 
standard for measuring the march of Progress as it advances, and 
must advance with giant strides, in the Land of the Southern 

In early colonial times the Junction of the rivers and the 
settlement near it were called Barra de Guaicuhy, and formed an 
old Julgado, or Chef-lieu de Justice, extinct about fifty years ago. 
The later generations translated the Tupy name into Barra do 
Rio das Yellias. The district and the municipality were created 
in 1861 (Provincial Law, No. 1,112 of Oct. 16) by takmg in part 
of Montes Claros, Sao Komao, Paracatu, Curvello, and Diaman- 
tina, and the principal tovm. took the name of Villa de Guaiculiy. 
Afterwards were annexed to it Mumbuca and the new districts of 
Estrema, Pii'apora, and Sao Goncalo das Tabocas, and now it is 
divided into foiu', namely, Guaiculiy, Sao Goncalo, Pii'apora, and 
Estrema. The population is stated to exceed 15,000 souls, with 
1200 voters and seventeen electors ; the latter seldom exercise 
their functions, as the College sits at Montes Claros, distant 120 
to 200 miles of vile road from their several homes. 

The settlement is divided into two BauTos, or Quarters. Near 
the confluence is the (Ai-raial da) Manga, or the Cattle-ford, 
popularly called the Port. The upper village is the Villa, for- 
merly the Arraial da Porteira, so called from a neighboiuing 
range, also an old name. The municipality has a single parish, 
the " Freguezia de X^^ S^ de Bom Successo e Almas da Villa de 

The Manga is a wretched decaying village, apparently doomed 
to destruction. It is perched upon an almost upright bank of 
white -yellow clay, twenty-nine feet six inches high, and the walls 
of the tenements show a water-mark of more than six feet ; thus 
the total of the rise is between thh'ty-five and thirty-six feet, with 
a weight which nothing can withstand. The river, as usual with 
large streams, flows upon a ridge, and swings towards the north 
side, which readil}' melts awa}^ ; its course will be arrested only 
by the Serrmha da Manga, or Muritiba, a long low lump of hill 
to the north. The southern bank projects into the Sao Francisco 

190 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BKAZIL. [chap. xiii. 

a long tongue of sand, with hardly hve inches of water at this 

The Manga hank is painful climbing, as that of Angolan Kui- 
samhi, and its rude attempts at steps, when greased by rain are 
safe only to the semi-prehensile feet of the natives. The only 
conspicuous building, upon whose tall, gaunt, sloj^ing roof of tiles 
the traveller's eye first hghts, is the Bom Jesus de Matosinhos ; 
it fronts the meeting of the waters, or south, with a little westmg, 
and it now stands almost at the edge of the precipice. Built of 
ashlar and lime, it sIioavs that in Colonial times the place knew 
better days; as usual it is half-finished, a "work of Santa 
Engracia." The southern entrance has never been roofed, the 
sacristy to the east is bare scantling, and the belfry is the normal 
gallows of three timbers. Pilasters and i)ulpits of cut stone are 
destined to remain in embryo, and a neat arch of masonry 
intended to mark the high altar to the north, now the body of 
the temple, is foul with weeds. Beyond the Bom Jesus is a small 
rum-distillery, and fm*ther down stream the " bush." 

Formerly the Manga had two thoroughfares, but in 1865 the 
inundation swept away the most convenient portion, and only 
part of " Water Street " shows a double line of blocks and huts, 
numbering twenty-four. They are built upon flags of hard blue 
sandstone, resembling lime, sometimes capped with iron, or 
showing junction with reddish gneiss. The new^ thoroughfare to 
the south, and running parallel with the former, has thirtj'-three 
tenements wliich look upon a road ankle-deep in sand. These 
lodgings contrast badly in point of comfort with Dahome, or 
Abeokuta, in Egba-land : they are unwhitewashed cages of wattle 
and dab, roofed with half-baked tiles. All have ground-floors of 
tami:)ed earth, except the Sobradinho,* belonging to Sr. Joao 
Pereira do Carmo, merchant, and Juiz de Paz. In the Brazil 
this official has conciliating powers, intended to spare appeal to 
the Juiz Municipal. But in country places the servants of old 
Father Antic, the Law, not unfrequently recall to mind the Scotch 
saying about a far cry to Loch Awe. 

Most of the houses have back-yards, green with bananas, 
Cuietes or • Calabash trees (Crescentia Cujete or Cuyete) and 

* The Meio Sobrado is a single-storied a single room above it, and the Sobrado is 
house upon a raised platfonn of masonry. a two-storied dwelling — a casa nobre when 
The Sobradinho is a one-storied house "vWth Avell made. 


oranges, wliich are exported clown stream. Tlie Settlement 
abounds in manioc, and as wheat was not to be found, we laid in 
a store of iDolvillio or Tipioca cakes (roscas de Tipioca)* and 
fuba-meal, wliicli is very expensive on tlie Upper Sao Francisco. 
As in Africa, tlie housewives Avould not sell their eggs. Tiu'ke^'s 
thrive here, and cost 2 $000 a head. About half that sum is paid 
for fowls and for Guinea-fowls, which are exceptionally held to be 
good food. The people do not readily part with theii* provisions, 
and they are perniciously frugal. A month's work at manioc 
gives them bread for a year. Moreover, much more is to be had 
by barter than for money. All determined that we were mer- 
chants, and offered cent, per cent, for tobacco. Had we known 
this I should have invested heavily in the article, and thus made 
mj^self a something inteUigible. A fatted bullock costs 30 $000, 
a cow 15 $000, a pig from 10 $000 to 16 $000, and fine goats 
and sheep, mostly fom'-horned, 2 $ 000. Fish is, of course, cheap. 
A fresh Carumata, weighing 4 lbs., is worth a halfpenny, and 
a salted Surubim of 32 lbs., from 3 $000 to 6 $000. The high 
value of the latter is owing to the price of salt, which must be 
imported from the lower river, and the plate of 4 lbs. or 5 lbs. 
fluctuates between 0$ 800 and 1$320. Washerwomen and sewing 
women gave their services at the cheapest possible rate. 

At this season the Manga is tolerabh^ healthy, but between 
January and Jmie, agues, typhus, and malignant marsh-fevers 
(carneii'adas) decimate the inhabitants. Many are clu'onic inva- 
lids, paralytic, or suffering from ophthalmia and goitre, which 
below Guaicuhy will cease to offend the eye. The climate has 
won for itself an enduring bad name ; f but the blame attaches 

'■^ Our "tapioca" is a mere coiTuption. modified by Lieut. Hemdon (p. 326). 

I bought, — " The mere traveller passes these places 

„ ,, ^ r ^r • n •.*A,-,-% without danger. It is the enthusiast in 

Half a quarta of Manioc fioiu- 1 100 ^^. ^.j^^ ^^^^^ ^.^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^ .^ 

4 lbs of toucmho lard . . 1 $ 280 collecting curious objects of natural history, 

32 lbs_. of carne seca (sun- ^^, ^^^ ^^,.^^^^^^ ^^^.^1^^^ ^^ consequences in 

dried beet) .... 6^iii0 ^^^ ^niTsuit of doUars, T\ho sufi-ei-s from the 

,,, , ««;ioA Sezoens." As a rule on the Sao Francisco 

lotal b$i2U ^Yie fevers, though at times of malignant 

+ "Le long du Rio San Francisco, a ^^'P^' ""^'^ ™<^-^% "chills," and the people, 

I'epoque oil le fleuve baisse, le pays est ^'^^^""^ ^^^'^^^^ ^^ procure the much valued 

afflige d'epidemies qui enlevent beaucoup Q^^mme, treat them with simples ; such as 

de monde et de^dennent surtout tres ^^^ Amargo, the antifebrile Quina, the pur- 

dangereuses pour les etrangers, ainsi que g^.^!^ Fidegoso, the bitter root Cipo de 

pour les vovageurs qui ne sont pas ac- mil-homens or de Jarrmha (a diaphoretic 

climates " (Prince Max. iii. 185). This is ^""'^ ctiurctic Aristolochia). 

repeated by many a "v\Titer, and is sensibly 

192 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BliAZIL. [cuAr. xiii. 

more to tlie dirty and dissolute habits of the people than to the 
maligned river.* Drainage is absolutely unknown, and the worst 
sites are preferred, because they are the most handy. The houses 
are impure to the last degree. The pig lives in the parlour, and 
"intramural sepulture" here survives. The diet, — fish and manioc, 
manioc and fish, — assists the work of dirt ; hence the sallow un- 
wholesome look and the listless languor of the people. The}' 
drink to excess new rum, the " Ivill-John" of the Mediterranean. 
On Sunday evening hardly a soul was sober, and two of my men, 
the " Menino" and Agostinho, could hardly stand. Having little 
else to do, their libertinism is extreme. They sit up half the 
night chatting and smoking, playing and singing. Of course they 
are unfit for work till nearly noon on the next day. Hence too 
often poverty, misery, and churlishness. 

The inhabitants are all more or less coloured, and as the yellow 
skin denotes the Brahman, so here a light-tinted face is invariably 
a token of rank. The genus Vadio abounds, and as these idlers 
are not above a little stealing, w^e removed, by advice, the iron 
grating of our raft's galley. On common days many of the men 
are absent at their rocas or are fishing with seines (Pugas),! and 
with long hand-lines. The street and a half shows here and there 
a vagrant stretched upon a bench or on a mat to protect him from 
the sand. Rarely a great man passes, with wooden box-stirrups 
and ambling nag. The animals are like those of Pernambuco, 
small for want of breeding, but showing original good blood in the 
shape and carriage of the head. At times a Caipera, mostly a 
vagueii'o or cattle driver, rides in leather-dressed cap-a-pie, 
showing that he is a denizen of a thorny land.t The slave boys 

* Dirty not in person but in lodgings. aria, on the Rio de Sao Francisco. A 

St. Hil. (HI. ii. 37) remarks : "En general, whole siiit costs from 5 $000 to 25 $000, 

c'est Ih, line des qiialites qui distinguent and it is far superior, softer and more 

les Bresiliens ; quelque pauvres qu'ils durable, than what a London tailor 

soient levu-s chaumieres ne sont presque supplies for ^'5. The preference is given 

jamais sales, et s'ils ne possedent que deux to the skins of deer, Yeado, Sassuapara, 

chemises, celle qu'ils portent est toujours Catingeiro and Mateiro ; an inferior kind 

blanche." He doubtless spoke as he found is made of the Capivara, here called 

matters, but he wrote much from memoiy. Caititu. Bullocks' brains are principally 

My exi)erience amongst the poor showed used to soften the leather, which becomes 

me that they reverse the practice of the like casimir ; this is a trick doubtless 

Netherlanders, amongst whom I have seen inherited from the savages of the land, 

a woman whose arms required a bath-brick, The full suit consists of the Chapeo, a 

diligently scouring a door-step white as billy-cock hat, sometimes flapped behind 

snow. like a sou' wester, the Gribao or jerkin, a 

+ The Pucja is a bag-net of reeds which short jacket opening in front and with 

two men drag along the bottom. pockets outside, the Gruardapeito, an ob- 

^ These leathers are best made at Janu- long piece of skin extending from throat 


sit upon the cruppers of tlieir lean garrons as the youth of Egypt 
bestride then- donkeys. On ass-back the seat is correct, not on 
horseback. Nothing else is to be seen but bmls, beasts, and 
naked lads. The dogs and pigs are apparently in a state of 
chronic ci^il war, and the onh' gymnastic of the citizen and the 
citoyenne consists of ''sticldng" them. 

Amongst these half-breeds respectable men are invariably civil 
and obliging. Churlishness increases with the deepenmg tint of 
the skm, and at times, when ver}^ dark, it indulges in the peculiar 
negro swagger which speaks of a not unintentional rudeness. 
When, however, the men are sober, they show nothing of the 
ruffianism so common amongst the European uneducated. A 
stranger would often look upon their manners as offensive, whereas 
the offence proceeds not from mtentional ill-will, but from a total 
want of tact, incapability of discernmg the decorous, and absence 
of perception that they are giving offence. Men come to the 
door, lean against the post, stare like the OphidicT, stare like the 
gods of Greece and Rome, with eyes which never wink. They care 
not whether the man in the den is eating, shaving, or bathing ; they 
intrude conversation, and they make viva voce personal comments 
and remarks, as the Central Africans would do. In fact the 

Realm of Bocchus by the Blackland Sea 

is the best of patience-teachers. You there learn, and must 
learn, to endure what the Englishman hates, perhaps, most. The 
women enter uninvited, cigarette in mouth, and sit down for the 
first time like old friends. AVe have a pretty neighbour, much 
resembling the ''Yaller Gal of New Orleens." The S'-'^ Miner - 
vina of Salgado loved, said the tongue of medisance, a soldier, 
not wisely and not too well. Like the rest of her sex in this 
region she carried one shoulder alwaj's bare, and she asked for 
everything, valuable or valueless, which met her sight. The 

to stomach, -with a hole through Avhich the however, Is not very thorny, the suit ]nay 

head is passed, and acting waistcoat, and be limited to the breeches or even to leg- 

the Perneiras or tights, v^-hich reach the gings ; some backwoodsmen here economize 

ancles. Over these boots are drawTi on the the "seat." A modem author justly 

feet, and protected by closely fitted sole- praises the material for long lasting, but 

less shoes, like the under slippers of he probably never tried what he describes 

Egypt. as " frais et leger." It is, as most of 

I soon adoj)ted leather. Bniziliau travel, blaster Shoetie's brethren knovr, heavy and 

especially in the interior, wears out a pair cumbrous, hot in hot weather, cold in cold 

of overalls per month. ^Yhere the land, wet in wet. 

^■|lr,. Ti. o 


smallest trifle was thanklessly received, because better than 
nothing. The women are here tolerably independent of the men. 
I often saw them paddling themselves and their children across 
the streams. 

We took an early opportmiity of visiting the Serrinha, behind 
or north of the Manga. Beyond the fifty yards of river-ridge 
lies a bayou-bed, mud-flaked and in parts still green ; this partly 
exjilains the fevers. On the damp margin grew a circle of 
Crioulma trees, regular and domed like enormous oranges, with 
thick trunks two feet high, and leafage like the myrtle oftenderest 
j)istachio-green ; the perfume of the flower resembles vanilla, 
and the small red berry is eaten by children. They contrast 
strongly with the " Carrascos " and Cerrados of the broken 
waterless ground further from the stream. This vegetation is 
European rather than tropical in w^ant of variety, and it pre- 
sented anything but a gay prospect, this depth of winter in the 
heat of the dog days. IMany were leafless, like hazels in our 
winter ; some were dead, killed, according to the people, by the 
heat of the sun ; others said that frost was the cause. The 
ground was rich in the black *'formiga douda," or mad ant, 
which loves the orange tree ; it is so called because it moons 
about as if mad or drunk. Wens of termite nests* throttled 
the branches, and we were once pursued by a swarm of furious 
Marimbondos or tree-wasps. This nuisance must be abated by 
breeding birds ; we found few of the feathered race, and orna- 
mental rather than useful, with brilhant tints they lighted up 
the dull and arid view. Passing a few outlying hovels, each of 
which sent forth its barj^ing cur, we began the ascent. Here 
the land shows, where denuded, red and yellow sandstone, new, 
shaly, and regularly stratified; perhaps it is the ''Old Eed," 
discovered in the Serra da Porteira by Dr. Vii'gil von Helmreichen, 
the same who detected granite in the limestone near Gongo 
Soco. t The dry grass was still burning in parts, for the future 
benefit of the few cows, and the surface was cut by wet-weather 
rivulets. On the higher levels, well swept by the cool breeze, 
houses might be built be^'ond the range of malaria, but there 

'" Tlie nest of the tevines arboruin k fiaudstoiic sccli on the banks at Manaos to 

trailed " panella," a pot. l)e Trias or OhI Red : Prof. Agassiz (p. 199) 

+ Similarly on the Amazons River, older determined both to form part of the ''great 

observers l.elieved tlie slatv rock and hard drift fdrmatioii," 

CUAF. xiii.j TO A^'D AT GUAICUHY. I95 

is no surface water, and none but a madman would now dream 
of lajing down pipes. 

The view from the summit delighted us. To the north the 
riverine valley of the joint streams was broader than the eye 
could estimate, and the least width was nine miles. To the east 
is the crescent-shaped Serra da Porteira, * a long tongue of raised 
land, convex towards the stream. Southwards the horizon was 
broken by the high blue lines of the Serras do Rompe-dia and 
do Saco Redondo. A httle north of west stood the Serra do 
Itacolumi, f forming with the Jenipapo and the Yarginha to the 
south-west another half-moon, whose bulge faced the river. The 
Jenipapo is said to bear a plateau on its head, and to 
aboimd in gold. These western mountains have gaunt forms, 
as if broken by volcanos, and there are two p^'ramids connected 
by natural curtains, which make magnihcent land marks. Below 
the peaks there are gradmgs of horizontal lines, evidently formed 
under water. The sm-face bore the growth of the great and 
arid plams called Campos Geraes, and resembling the upheaved 
'' levels " of England and the '' carses " of Scotland. Here it 
was dull and grey, there the trees were donning their spring 
dresses of liveliest gTeen. + 

Between these limits of the stream in davs of vore, the Rio 
de Sao Francisco winds up through its verdant avenue from the 
south-east, spreading out into bays 1800 feet broach Above 
the thin confluence-point of trees and sand, its noble tributary, 
the Rio das Yellias, serpentines from the south-south-east, and 
shows a silvery lake on the left bank. Grand are the ciu'ves 
described upon the lacustrine lowlands, the ^'straths" and 
" dales " of om- countrj^, whose vast extent smokes like a battle- 
tield with prairie fires. During the rams the flats must become 
a broken line of lakes. Below us lies the shallow line of village, 

* M. Halfekl calls the uortliein part of i The extreme breadth of the riverine 

this SeiTa "da barra da Manga," and con- valley as determined by its tributaries, 

nects it to the south -^'ith the Serra do lies between the Serra Gf-rande or do 

Rompe-dia. South of the confluence ho Espinhago on the right (east) and the 

places the Serras da Tabua and do highlands that divide IMinas Geraes from 

Truichete. Goyaz, under the names Serra dos Piloes, 

1* Down stream, near the town of da Tiririca, dos Ardras and do Parana 

Remanso, there is on the left bank a "Serra (called by St. Hil. Serra de S. Francisco e 

dos Columis," and a hill called " Ita- do Tocantins). Thus its extreme breadth 

columita" is at the junction of the Rio would be 240 geogi'aphical miles from Rio 

Preto with the Rio Grande, de Janeiro to W. long. 4° (Rio). 



and scattered near the junction are plots of bright and luxuriant 

I did not neglect to ins2)ect the Villa de Guaicuhy, distant 
from church to church about three-quarters of a mile. The path 
wound along the right bank of the Rio das Yellias, which is 
only partially subject to inundations ; their limit is denoted by 
green grass and thickly foHaged Almacegueiros (gum trees) ; 
the prettiest feature is the Pau de Arco de Flor Roxa — the 
red-flowered Bowdarque. This Bignonia, rich with mauve-coloiu'ed 
trumpets, is used as an anti-syphilitic, and the cerne or heart 
is made to do the duty of lignum guaiacum. In places there is 
good ground for cotton grown annually, and '^topping " would 
turn its fibre to lint ; here the comparative aridity of the soil 
would save the trouble of cutting the tap root. The people 
say that there is too much sand and too little water for coffee ; 
the " Cafezal " is an exception, and the best are in the Fazendas 
of Eompe-dia, Bejaflor, Canabrava, Mumbuca. We crossed a 
dwarf ridge of the usual shaly sandstone, and a fiuman now 
dry; be^'ond it lay Campo ground, dotted with a few cattle.* 
Two bulls eyed us curiously, but the novelist's pet animal is here 

Presently we crossed by stepping over stones the normal 
bridge, the small Corrego da Porteira, which drains the crescent- 
shaped Serra of the same name ; other streams can be added 
to it, and thus there will be a sufiicient water suppl}^ for the 
future city. Passing the Quartel or barracks, a more substantial 
house than usual, we issued into the square, where the superi- 
ority of the site at once became apparent. The floods reach 
only to the lovrer portion ; the upper part slopes gradually up 
to the skirts of the stony hill, and affords a beautiful view of 
the double distances which buttress the riverine plain. At 
present the settlement consists only of the square, and the square 
has a total of forty-five tenements, not including the church. 
At present it supports itself by exporting provisions, and it 

* In tlie true cattle-Lreediug euiuiiries, the surface of tlie grouud is favourable, 

sucli as Texas and the Argentine Repub- vvliile forage, possibly not of the best de- 

lies, a few head turned out to graze and scription, abounds. On the other hand 

completely neglected multiply exceedingly the animals cannot live without salt, and 

in the shortest jjossible space. Here, as in want of communication, by adding 400 to 

the southern part of the Sao Paulo Pro- 500 per cent, to the price, greatly limit- 

vince, they do not, and the cause is hardly the supply. 
apparent. The climate is excellent, and 


imports from Joazeiro salt and dry goods, and from Januaria 
saltpetre, hides, and sole leather. The post reaches it twice a 
month, on the 7th and the 27th. 

The vicar, Eev. P^ Francisco da Motta, was confessing at 
Desembrigo ; I was sorry not to meet him, as all spoke liighly 
of liis local information. The excellent Delegate insisted upon 
giving ITS coffee and sponge cake (pfio de 16) ; my companion 
bought at his store a bit of cotton marked J. Bramley Moore ; 
full of starch, leucom, and dextrin, it contrasted badly with the 
substantial home-made produce of Minas. Our friend led us 
to the village school, which could easily be traced by the sound. 
The BraziUans have facetiously described the viva voce S3^stem, 
borrowed from the Arabs.* It should not, however, be con- 
demned precipitately^ ; it assists in forming pronunciation, it 
fixes the subject upon the memory, and it teaches abstraction of 
thought. Mj system of learning foreign tongues has long been 
to "read out loud," and mentally to repeat whatever is said 
to me. The process is tedious, but it masters the language in 
three months. 

The fault of every old settlement in the Brazil, beginning with 
Rio de Janeiro, is the narrowness of the streets, and after a time 
it can hardly be corrected. We advised the Delegate to lay out 
the wide open space in regular parallelograms, with thoroughfares 
at least 100 yards broad, and thus to make ready for the days 
when, pace the manes of Sir John Shelley, tramways will become 
universal. We visited the church in charge of a Sacristan, born 
about 1796. Founded some 150 years ago, b}^ the piety of an old 
philanthropist, the Rev. P^ Xicolau Pereira de Barros, it faces 
the fair view to the setting sun. The stone front is pierced with 
three windows, a door, and what by courtesy may be called a rose 
light, and the material is taipa, armed with mail of broken 
pottery wherever the rain strikes it. The bells depend from the 
normal gallows outside, and of the two Sacristies one is in ruins. 
Inside there is an organ-loft, and the two plain wooden pulpits 
resemble magnified claret chests. The High Altar bears the 
Patroness supported by Sao Miguel and by N^ S* Mae dos 

^ (( 

Ouve se um concerto infernal e mestre, grita o discipnlo, gritao os moni- 

monotono, uma esj)ecie de canto des- tores, todos gritao, e finalmente uingneni 

compassado e confuso, composto de gritos aprende. " 
de uma modulaffio especial. Grrita o 


Homens ; it has been gilt, but I detected a bird's nest in a cosy 
corner. On the left are two side chapels, one of S^° Antonio, 
unfinished still, the other of Santa Anna, somewhat in the pier 
style of Bahia, and gilt by a devotee in the olden day, Joao da 
Rocha Guerreiro. Opposite Santa Anna is N^ S* do Carmo in 
newer fashion, with pillars and capitals, the gift of Joaquim Jose 
Caetano Brandao. The fourth is completely modern, columns 
resting on consoles, the liberahty of a Genoese, Antonio da Costa. 
The worst part of the Matriz was its floor ; the nave w^as paved 
with loose boards, and the sanctuary with coffins and brass tacks, 
forming dates and initials. The sacristy had the huge boxes de 
rigueur, the waterless fountain, a spout projecting from a human 
face, and the stool and sieve confessional. 

Sr. Leandro lent me the last papers from Ouro Preto, and the 
Presidential annual reports, together with the original description 
of the Sao Francisco by M. Halfeld. He had travelled little, 
and ignored even Rio de Janeiro, j^et he had collected a 
varietj^ of information ; his thirst for knowledge was unlimited, 
and he often spent half the night in study. He was great upon 
the education question, and as a moderate politician he deplored 
the excesses to which zeal and interest led, appropriately quoting 
the fable of the old man, his son and the ass, to show how difficult 
it was to please even his own part}-. He wrote for me a variety 
of introductory letters to his friends on the Great River ; in the 
Brazil generally the handwriting w^ould have charmed Lord 
Palmerston, but the Delegate's caligraphy was positively copper- 
plate. AVe had every reason for being grateful to Sr. Leandro, 
and I embrace the first opportunity of expressing to him my best 
acknowledgments . 



THE "bull's eye."— the BARCA, OR YAWL.— THE " HORSE-BOAT" WANTED. 



. . . And streams as if created for his use, 
Pursue the track of his directing- wand 
Sinuous or straight, now rapid and now slow, 
Now murmuring' soft, now roaring in cascades. 


We were strongly advised to visit the Eapids of the Pii-apora, 
which are said to be, after the Casca d'Anta at the begmning, and 
the Paulo Affonso at the end, the important feature upon the 
Rio de Sao Francisco. The word means a '' fish leap,"* and is 
applied to places on more than one Brazilian river ; it has, how- 
ever, many significations. On the Tiete, in Sao Paulo, the 
people translate it " Sign of fish," making " Pora" a corruption 
of " Bora." t With a flush of joy I found myself upon the bosom 
of this glorious stream of the future, whose dimensions here- 
abouts average 700 feet. I had seen nothing that could be com- 
pared with it since my visit to the African Congo. In due time 
the banks T\ill be leveed, the floods T^ill be controlled, the bayous 
will be filled up, and the great artery will deserve to be styled a 
" coelo gratissimus amnis." 

The author of the Noticias do Brazil (1589) informs us that 

* Pira, orpyra, a fish, and pora, salto, in the open sea— that is to say, a whale.'" 

a leap. Thus Colonel Accioli explains it, "Bora," contracted from " Bor vera," is a 

" lugar onde peixe salta. " The word must verbal desinence con-esponding with the 

not be wi-itten with St. Hil. (III. ii. 213), Hindostani -wala in such expressions as 

"Ph-apora." " Canheu-bora," which a Hindu would 

t The dictionaries explain pyra-pora by render " Fujne-wala." 
" fish- inhabitant, a gi-eat fish which Hves 



[f'TIAr. XIV. 

the once numerous and now extinct tribes living near this river, 
the Caetes, the Tupinamhas, the Tajiuyas, the Tupiaes, the 
Amorpiras, the Ubirajaras, and the Amazonas — of course there 
were Amazons — knew it as '' O Parii," the sea. The old Portu- 
guese explorers went down the coast with the Romish Calendar 
in hand, and thus the Eio de Sao Francisco (de Borja) derived its 
name from the Jesuit saint presiding over the 10th of October.* 
So Yarnhagen assigns the honour to the little squadron of five 
caravels which, commanded by Joao da Nova, and bearing on 
board as pilot the cosmographer Vespucci, f sailed from Lisbon 
about the middle of May, 1501. It must not be confounded with 
the little Eio de Sao Francisco in the Province of Santa Catherina, 
a port also described by tlie author of the Noticias (chap. 66) ; 
and it is as well not to suggest California by giving to it the 
Spanish form San Francisco, instead of the Portuguese Sao or 
San Francisco. t The river soon attracted the attention of those 
dwelling on the seaboard ; like the Nile and the Congo, it floods 
during the dry season, and rice versa — sufficient to excite, in 
those days, the marvel-faculty. § Adventurers Avho determined to 

* Thus we find the Promontory of Sao 
Roque first visited August 16 ; Cape St. 
Augustim, Aug. 28 ; Rio de Sao Miguel, 
Sept. 29 ; Rio de Sao Jeronymo, Sept. 30 ; 
Rio de Sao Francisco, Oct. 10 ; Rio das 
Virgens, Oct. 21 ; Rio de Santa Lusia (the 
Rio Doce?), Dec. 15 ; Cax^e St. Thome, Dec. 
21 ; Sao Salvador da Bahia, Dec. 25 ; Rio 
de Janeiro, Jan. 1, 1502 ; Angra dos Reis 
( Epiphany), Jan. G ; Island of S. SeLastiao, 
Jan. 20 ; Rio or Porto da Sao Vicente (Sao 
Paulo), Jan. 21. 

Frei Gaspar Madre de Deus would attri- 
liute the naming of Sao Vicente to the 
fleet of Martim Afionso de Souza, who 
touched there on his return from the Rio 
da Prata, Jan. 22, 1532. But the port is 
mentioned under the name of its saint iu 
the Diary of ]\I. Alfonso's brother, Pedro 
Lopes de Souza, before the squadron in 
which he commanded a ship reached it. It 
is, moreover, found in the map of Riiysch, 
:i 508 (Varnhagen, i. 425). 

f Sr. Varnhagen (i. 27) ably rehabili- 
tates the name of Amerigo Vespucci, the 
god-father against whom for many years 
America, and even Europe, have been so 
furiously raging. He quotes the Phisices 
Compendium : Salamantice, 1520 (eight 
years after Vespucci's death), ' ' Prima est 
Asia, secunda Africa, et tertia Europa . . 
.... fifldfnda tamen veteribus incognita 

America a Vesputio invente qufe occidentum 
versus," &c. Columbus did not complain 
of him, and the fortunate Genoese died 
convinced that he had discovered the 
Eastern portion of the "Indies," to which 
Castella added the term "Western." The 
historian sensibly remarks (i. 27), "And 
the designation of ' West Indies ' would 
best perpetuate for lis the work of Colum- 
bus and his genius in perseveringly working 
out a great idea. It will ever remind 
human nature of the respect due to genius, 
even where it greatly errs, inasmuch as 
these errors often lead to the discovery of 
truth, which in the exact sciences is reached 
by setting out at times from gTatuitous 

X This inadvertently has been made by 
stranger authors from Soiithey to Agassiz, 
I know only one who has avoided it, Lieut. 
Netscher, " Les Hollandais an Bresil," 

§ The same is the case with the Para- 
guassii of the Bahian Mediterranean ; in 
fact, with all the streams which in these 
latitudes rise west of the sea-fringing ujj- 
lands ; they flood during the dry season, 
and they shrink when the coast rains set 
in. The reason is simply that the dry 
season of the coast is the rainy season of 
the interior. 


solve this great mystery, and who prohahly had heard of the then 
abundant " Brazil wood," and mines of gold and silver, ascended 
as far as the Great Rapids in early days. The ''protomartyr " 
was one Sebastiao Alvares, of Porto Seguro, who was sent to 
explore by the second governor of tlie captaincy of Pernambuco, 
T^uiz de Brito de Almeida, who succeeded Duarte Coelho de 
Albuquerque.* After four years of travel he and his twenty men, 
an insufficient force, were massacred — there has been man}^ a 
*' Bloody Pam"' in these regions. Presenth^ Joiio Coelho de 
Souza ascended more than one hundred leagues above the Papids, 
and published a Roteiro, now curious. 

Two new men were hired to guide us in the 'Hender" canoe, 
which they described as very " violenta e banzeira," crank and 
kittle. We eyed curiously the contrasts of the new stream with 
that which we had lately left. Here the Avater was of a transparent 
green, like the mighty Zaire; it is said to be "heavier," when 
drunk, than that of the Rio das Yelhas ; the influents, often so 
deeply embedded as to be now useless, were clear, especially when 
they drained little ba3'ous on the sides. The water seemed to 
break even from the stiff cla}^, which was in places caving in. 
The Coroas were either mere sandbanks, lines of gravel or lumps 
of boulder, or clothed with the Arinda, which in places grows 
twenty feet high. Cattle, here the chief produce, made them 
theii' favourite haunts. The barreiro, or salt lick, cribbled the 
sides, but we lost the aluminous white rash which distinguished 
the Rio das Yelhas. The banks were cut and graded into steps 
b}^ the receding floods, and where not broken by " riachos," they 
were above high-water mark. In places there were heaps of 
decayed leaves crushed and pressed together ; the}^ formed layers 
often 3 — 4 feet deep. At noon we passed on the left bank ledges 
caked over with hard " Canga ;" water trickled fi'om it upon the 
loose Cascalho and the felspathic clay of the Sao Joao Mine. 
This is a true diamantine formation. A natural pier projected 
from the right side, hard clay deeply tinged with iron ; and the 
violence of the floods was shown by a tree root, weighing at least 

* Here the Noticias para a Historia e about the end of 1573 govevneJ the Caj)- 

a Gfeogi-aphia das Na9oes nltramarinas taincy of Bahia. D. Coelho de Albuquerque 

(March 1, 1859), which has a chapter (the second Donatoiy, not to be confounded 

(No. 20), "On the Greatness of the Rio with Duarte Coelho the First) became in 

de Sao Francisco and its Sources," seems t<) 1560, third governor of Pernambuco. 
1)6 incorrect. Luiz de Brito de Almeida 


a ton, and lodged in tlie fork of a fig, whose gigantic limbs were 
distorted b}' the burden. 

All tliis region is of the greatest beauty and fertility ; when the 
Rio das Velhas shall have been opened it will become the garden 
of the land. On the banks were many clearings and small sugar 
plots, with which the owners are ready to part. Beds of melons 
show that the fruit has now grown to be a favourite, and will, 
presently, become the daily bread ; * the Mangui Hibiscus and the 
Castor shrub here stand thirty feet, and everyAvhere we saw 
the broad-leaved Brazilian tobacco growing half wild ; the people 
prefer to pay heavily for the gifts of Baependy and Pomba. In 
the patches of cultivation the women had stuck, as in Harar-land, 
a cow's horn on an upright stick, to keep off the evil eye — por 
olho da gente. Fishermen and boys appeared at times, and the 
negroes and negresses washed by the waterside ; here there is no 
cause to fear the crocodile or the slaver. Before the banks were 
sloped cuttings of sugar-cane, ready for planting in October if the 
rains be early, if not in November. A fish hung lifeless, hooked 
to the stern of a small canoe, whose beak was the wedge-formed 
projection used in Africa as a handle ; and the turkey buzzards 
were hard at work upon a dead terrapin (Kagado), which infatuated 
humanity in these regions will not eat. 

During the ascent we hugged the left bank as closely as possible ; 
the descent was, till struck by the storm, via the '' fio de agua," 
or mid-stream, crossing to the headlands and points round which 
the current swings. The distance was said to be five leagues, 
and if so each league must represent six and a half geographical 
miles, f After nearly nine hours of hard work, we doubled a 
wooded projection from the left bank, and sighted the Cachoeira 
of the Pirapora. The break is now at its worst ; like most others, 
it is easier to pass during the rains, and the more Avater upon it 
the better. 

The Pirapora differs from anything that we have yet viewed ; it 
is a su2)erior article in quality as well as in quantity. This is, in 
fact, partly a true fall, divided into two sections ; but we have 

■•' Tlie fruit is of two kinds, tlie melancia, and the same is the belief in tlie Southern 

or water melon, and the melao, mnsk United States : few will touch the fruit 

melon. The former is a great favourite when Avorking in the sun. 

with the barquemen, who seem to have its f It is about six leagues west of the Rio 

name ever in their mouths. Yet they de- das Yelhas. 
clave that it gives them **dumb chills," 


c<jme a long Avay to see a small sight, and ^ve tremble to think 
what Paulo Affonso may really be. On the western bank rises a 
lumpy hill, the Curral da Pirapora — some day it ^vill be built 
Qver — at whose foot is a narrow stony beach. The course of the 
Pdo de Sao Francisco is here from south to north, and the rocky 
mass crosses it in ledges and scattered blocks, mostly disposed 
diagonally. There are evidently several breaks, and southwards 
the dark blue of the swift gliding river, backed by the light azure 
of the Saco Redondo range, contrast T\ith the boiling raging flood 
that forms the "foreground." 

Glad to stretch our cramped limbs we landed at the Porto da 
Pirapora, on the right or eastern bank, and proceeded to inspect 
the Cachoeii-a from above. The path led through '' Barandao," a 
caricature of the Arraial da Manga ; its principal featm-es were 
huge seines and large fish, split, limig on gallows to sun dry. 
The people do not export this produce, but sell it only to passing 
mule troops. Finding that we did not trade, and suspecting us 
of being agents of Government, they were scantily civil, but they 
offered for pui'chase their refuse " desmonte " — sand without 
diamonds. The dogs were even more churlish than their masters. 
Had we had tobacco and other small matters for barter we might 
have been received in another way. 

At first we walked over loose sand ; the rest of the right bank 
is a flooring of rock, which probably extends far under the 
eastern bank. The natural course of the water is to this side, 
and canoes prefer it during the floods. M. Liais opines that 
canalization would here be easy ; it is hard however to predicate 
this mitil careful piercings shall have been made. M. Halfeld 
proposes sluice gates, moreover, which the French authority does 
not consider necessarv.* There is no danger of the Brazil under- 
taking any such work m the present generation.! 

The stone platform is composed of slabs, some forty feet long, 
and mostly narrow ; the cleavage is perpendicular with the stream 

* M, Liais makes the length of the This would give a velocity of only 3 to 4 
Pii'apora oltstacle a total of one kilometre, metres or yaixls per second, 
and the difterence of level 3 "So metres, 

t The estimates for opening forty leagues are as follows : — 

Canalizing up the Pirapora .... 1,400 : 000 $000 
To the Cachoeira Grande .... 4,100 : 000 $000 
To the Porto das Melaneias .... .3,200 : 000 $000 

Total .... 8,700 :000$000 say ^870,000, 


and the water-turned iDot-holes and channels, cut a yard and more 
in depth, show the effect of floods. The suhstance is generally a 
hard compact gneiss (granwacker sandstein, gris traumatico) of 
light purple tinge, dotted with specks of mica glistening white. 
We found also sandstones and impure calcaire which effervesced 
hut little under acids. From this point we could easily dis- 
tinguish the two main steps separated hy ahout 700 yards, a 
length which makes the slope of the rock planes appear very 
gentle. The upper rapid, six feet high, seemed more formid- 
ahle than the lower of ahout seven feet. Near the right 
bank these form catadupas, or true falls ; they are also garnished 
with escadinhas (little ladders), miniature cascades in gerbs and 
jets, rushing fariousl}^ down small narrow tortuous channels, 
between the teeth of jagged stone-saws, and tumbling over dwarf 
buttresses. Thus the total height between the upper and the 
lower "smooths" is thirteen feet; above the break the stream 
narrows to 1800 feet, whilst below, at the Porto da Pirapora, 
where the serpentine arms, after crossing and dividing between 
the boulders, unite, the bed broadens to 3500. During the dries 
the fair wa}^, if it may so be called, is a thin sheet of water near 
the western bank ; no ajojo, however, can pass, canoes must be 
unladen and towed up, and without a good pilot there is immi- 
nent risk. At the present season it is broken by outcrops of 
rock, and during the floods it has dangerous whirlpools. 

The Pirapora is a serious obstacle. It is not insurmountable, 
but it would cost more money, and take a longer time to remove, 
than all the most serious obstructions upon the Rio das Velhas. 
No work could be carried on in the rainy season, and the inunda- 
tions would damage the labour done during the dries. Hands 
would have to be sent here at a great expense, and even on this 
most wealth}^ soil imported provisions would be required. Above 
it also the Pdo de Sao Francisco becomes a mass of rapids, and 
when you clear one you are within hearing of another. Canoes 
ascend with difficulty to the mouth of the Abaete.* M. Liais accu- 
rately survej^ed as high as the embouchure of the Paraopeba, and 
he found that no expense would clear more than a hundred 
leagues of its course. 

Pieturning to the Porto, we visited the diamond diggings, whicli 

* Etyinologically, the true man (aba, tlie stream wliicli ijroducetl the celebrated 
man, and dt(j, veritable), or hero. This is diamond in 1792. 


are of some antiquity ; formerly gold was washed, but this 
industry has now ended. The gem, which comes, perhaps, from 
afar, is found in the Cascalho arrested by the rocks. Most 
probably the Caixao or hollow at the foot of each fall would yield 
a better supply. About a dozen men raising " desmonte " from 
a pot-hole (panella) between two boulders deeply channelled out 
by the joint action of sand, gravel, and w^ater. For small and 
valueless stones they asked per vintem (two grains) from 12 $ 000 
to 14 $000, something above the London prices. 

This part of the Sao Francisco should be eminently diaman- 
tiferous. On the east it drains the Cerro, which we have already 
visited. To the west it receives the washings of the Rio 
Bambuhy (of old Bamboi), which falls in south of the city Dores 
do Indaia. Beyond it is the Rio Indaia, or Andaia, where in 
May, 1800, Dr. Couto's part}^ took from one hole fort3'-two 
stones. Further north is the Ribeiriio do Borrachudo, which also 
gave one gem ; and its neighbour is the Abaete, di'aining the old 
Sertao Diamantmo. These four streams, to mention no others, 
issue from the eastern liaiiks of the great chain, whose western 
counterlopes ' supply the diamonds of Bagagem. Further north 
is the Serra da Gamelleira and the valley of the Somno, an 
eastern branch of the well-kno-s^ii Paracatu. I will allude to these 
rich diamantine deposits as we pass them. 

During the last night a raw south '\\ind had set in from the 
mountains, and told us that rain had fallen there. It was the 
beginning of the wet season, but the people called the showers 
Chuvas da Queimada — of the bush-burning. Prairie fires are popu- 
larly said everywhere to bring down water ; they sublimate a vast 
mass of humidity, the heat and steam rise, a cool draught supplies 
their place, and thus the atmosphere camiot support the conden- 
sation. In the temperate parts of North America, diu'ing the fall 
of the leaf, the tree-trunks restore to the ground the juices whicli 
spring injected into the wood-pores, and hence the phenomenon of 
streams swelling without a drop of rain. Here, however, though 
the dry season was just ended, the vegetation is assuming its 
vernal green. 

As we began the descent lightning flashed from the east, 
the south, and presently from all the horizon, followed by low 
grumblings of thunder. To the right hand appeared the Ollia 
de Boi, or bull's eye ; it is not, however, the white patch under 

•206 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [cuat. xiv. 

the black arch of the African tornado. Here the sign is a little 
section of distant rainbow glistening in all its colours against the 
slaty grey background of the discharging cloud, and showing that 
a gale will blow up from the falling shower. Mosth' we shall see 
it in the east, meaning therefore in the afternoon, and when it is 
accompanied by wind that sinks the thermometer 8° (F.), we shall 
expect a patter of rain, and a storm like a charge of cavalry. 
The peo2-)le call it either simply- or " com rabo de gallo " — accom- 
panied by ciiTus. Presently our cranky canoe was struck b}' 
the gale (rajada de vento), one of the especial dangers of the Sao 
Francisco. The east wind was heard roaring from afar ; and, as 
it came down upon the stream, white waves rose after a few 
minutes, subsiding as easil}^ when the gale had blown itself out. 
In July, 1867, a white squall of the shortest possible duration 
carried off the tiles from the roofs of Guaiculn^ 

Our men preferred the leeward bank upon which the blast 
broke, leaving the water below comparatively dead, and thus they 
escaped the risk of falling trees. The surface of the central 
channel being now blocked by the fierce wind, the side current, a 
backwater during our ascent, bore us swiftly down. It was very 
dark at 7*30 p.m., when we climbed the steep and slippery bank 
of the Manga. Shortly the thunder growled angrily overhead, 
and heavy rain fell, fortunately upon a tight roof. This was the 
first wet weather which we had experienced since July 21, and it 
began a season desolate as a fete-day in England. 

At the Manga we saw for the first time the ''Barca,"* which 
reminded my companion of the Mississij)pi '" yawl." It has been 
introduced only during the last fort}^ years ; before that time all 
the work was done by ajojos and canoes. The shape is probabh' 
taken from the Douro, but here the form is more in Dutch style, 
round and spoon- shaped to suit the stream ; it wants also the 
immense Portuguese caudal fin, though by no means without a 
large and powerful rudder. The planks are of the best woods in 
the country, Cedro and Vinhatico, the keel is of Aroeira, and the 
huge ribs (costellas or cavernas), together with the heavy cross- 
pieces and gangways, are of the stout, tough Rosea. The average 
length may be 45 feet by 14 broad, drawing 3, 4 to 5 feet when 

* Barco is the general term for large line; for instance, " trivella,"^ the aug- 

iraft, whilst Barca is larger. In this point nientative form of " trivello. " Some 

Portngnese agi-ees Avith the Italian, which authorities, however, make Barca the 

makes the feminine major than the niascu- smaller. 


loaded, and earning some 400 aiTobas, reckoned by rapaduras or 
sugar cakes, each about 4 lbs. At Salgado was built tlie X^ S^ 
da Conceicao da Praia, now broken up ; sbe was 81 feet 
long and 6 feet in the water. Tliese large craft ai-e alwaj's flat- 
bottomed (de prato) to work off slioals. Keels are dangerous, 
as they cause upsets when the current carries them to the shal- 
lows. The bows and stern are raised, as in the old caravel, and 
the cargo is matted over or covered with hides in the centre, 
leaving a narrow trampway of plank at each side. Above the 
Paulo Aftbnso the toldo or standing awning is unwisely placed in 
the stern so as to catch every puff' of Avind. The lower rivermes 
prefer the cabin in the bows, and diminish its dimensions. It is 
made in tmniel shape, resembling the sm'f-boats of the Guinea 
coast, and it is worthy of imitation by the dwellers on the upper 
stream. The stern-cabin, which from 8 feet long sometimes 
takes up a quarter of the length, is of solid planking, in the poorer 
sort arched and matted with fronds of the Indaia or the Carnahuba 
palm, or even vMi common grass ; the ends hang over both sides 
so as to carry off' the rain. A rich trader assumes some fine 
name, as the ''Baroneza de Minas," displays a flag with a " Santa 
Maria," and has doors and glass windows. His cabin, which is 
also liis shop, is fitted up with shelves for goods ; he comfoi-tribly 
swings a hammock, and he disdains to sit at table "s\itliout a 

The crew of a moderate -sized craft may be ten men, the 
extremes being six and foiu'teen. The pilot stands or sits at his 
rudder on the raised stern. His men, dressed in white kilts, 
and at times in tattered shirts, with hats of leather or straw, have 
hard work. Their poles, 21 to 23 feet long, are much heavier 
than those of the ajojo, and like the Bedouin lance, require a 
practised hand. They also work huge oars like sweeps, one man 
pulHng whilst another pushes. Durmg the floods they must creep 
up at the rate of two leagues per diem, wearmg, as they say, holes 
in theii' chests, and exposed to all the insects of the shore ; hence 
as a rule they make only one trip per annum, and at the beginning 
of the rains they return home to cultivate for themselves or for 

I was siu'prised at the absence of sails ; they were seen at only 
two places, Pilao Arcado, and ** Joazeiro;" and even there they 
were limited to ferries crossing the stream. The people declared 


that the channel, besides behig studded with snags, was too 
tortuous. This, however, is very far from being the case. They 
also feared sudden gusts (Pes de Yento or Eedemoinhos), wjiich 
would cause accidents. The chief reason is, doubtless, ignorance. 
On the Lower Sfio Francisco, where the sea-breeze from the south- 
east sets in regularly at 9 a.:\i., every barca goes up under sail and 
at steamer pace. 

The Upper Sao Francisco has its regular trade winds, which 
vary with night and day, and still more with the seasons. The 
east, sometimes veermg towards the north, is called the Vento 
Geral,* and it often acts as a " soldier's wind," useful both wa3's. 
By night in the lower j^arts of the stream it is followed by a 
Terral or land-breeze from the west. Of this '' vent traversier " 
also the barca-men declare that with canvas their boats would be 
driven out of the channel. + During the four rainy months, 
which of course are different in the different sections of the river, 
and which as a rule follow the southing and the northing sun, the 
trade shifts to south with vresting, and thus blows down stream. 
The regularity of the meteor suits admii'ably not only for sailing 
but for all manner of simple and economical machinery. 

In tliis portion of the Brazil, where the simplest labour-saving 
contrivances are unknown, they have never heard of the " horse- 
boat," now so common upon the streams of Continental Europe, 
and still used in the United States. The machinery might easily 
be adapted to the rafts and boats. A platform some seven feet 
long, and raised at an angle of 20° to 31°, faces the stern, and the 
animal is taught to walk up it. It is composed of some forty-two 
slabs, each four inches square, and the hard, unelastic woods of the 
country would supply the best material. Connected by vertical 
joints of iron, which work loosely upon one another, forming an. 
endless band or chain, the platform is fastened to an ''idler" 
axle in the fore flooring and aft to the tranverse tree which works 
the paddles. This portion is made fast to strong uprights, 
and the diameter of the working wheel is about 3 : 1 of the axle. 

* The regular east wind of the Amazons ^\ith a large mainsail, topsail, topgallant- 
is also known as "Yento Greral " (Mr. sail, and studding-sails — the last three 
Bates, i. 213). fitted to set going up before the wind, and 

+ "The fault of the vessels navigating to strike, masts and all, so as to beat down 

the Amazon is the breadth of beam and the Avith the current under mainsail, jib and 

want of sail. I am confident that a clipper- jigger — woukl make good passages l)etwecu 

built vessel, sloop, or rather kcteh-riggod, Para and Kgoas " (Lieut. Herndon, 262). 


Thus it would be easy to get over thirty miles per diem with a 
tithe of the present toil. 

At the Manga I dismissed with the highest recommendations 
to future travellers my good old pilot, Chico Diniz and his stout- 
hearted companion, Joao Pereii-a. The expense was 190$000, 
but on the Kio das Velhas wages are now at a fancy price ; on the 
Sao Francisco there is a regular demand and supply. Joaqumi 
volunteered to accomi3any me, but he was short-sighted and soft- 
bodied. The " Menino " agreed to remain with me on condition 
of being supphed with a return passage from Joazeiro. On the 
great stream barquemen do not leave then- beat ; it is the custom 
to engage them per travessia or trip, of which, as will be seen, 
there are eleven. I Im-ed the cousins Manuel Casimiro de Oli- 
veu-a and Justmo Francisco da Conceicao ; both were very dark, 
and the latter, 6 feet 3 inches long, reminded me of Long Guled 
the Somal. They were well acquainted with the water, civil and 
obliging, but they lacked the pluck and bottom of the Highlander 

As a rule the worst hands offer themselves to the stranger, and 
thus he may find himself in great trouble. All men are here 
more or less amphibious ; the canoe, as they say, is their horse. 
The real barqueiro is a type as peculiar as the bargee of olden 
days in England ; he is also a free-born man ; few^ traders ]ike to 
employ slaves. More handy than a sailor with us, like the Afri- 
can, he is perfectly acquamted with all the small industries neces- 
sary to his comfort ; he can build his house or his dug-out, and 
make his tiles or his clothes — arts which among the civilised 
demand division of labour. Thus he is mostly inferior to those 
of his own class in more advanced lands where society has split up 
into thin strata. Here, as elsewhere, it is wonderful how little 
foul language is used. The same has been remarked of the North 
American backwoodsmen, and the aborigines of both countries 
know, we are told, neither swearing nor abuse, "bad man" being 
the worst reproach. The good specimen is quiet, inteUigent, 
tolerably hardy, and perfectly respectful to his Patrao, the pro- 
prietor or hu-er of the boat. He usually eschews drink altogether, 
fearing the drunken quarrels to which it leads. The worst lot is 
rough as its own barque, and desperately addicted to strong 
waters and women, to the nightly Samba and Pagodi, the local 
.^... My last gang will be a good specimen of the bad. 



All are lieadstrong, a race of '^aiitonomoi," who will have their 
own wa}', and who do not lilve to be directed or contradicted. I 
was advised to carry plenty of spirits and tobacco to prevent them 
jumping ashore at every house. They have enormous appetites, 
which come, they say, from the shaking of the barca. This is 
probabl}' an '^ Indian " derivation ; the savages, we are told, 
Vv'ould sacrifice everything for food, and ate with the voracity of 
jaguars. Although the}^ know that it is injmious, the barqueiros 
dehgiit, lilve the Peruvians, in rapadura or Chancaca sugar ; I 
have seen a man eat 2 lbs. of it at a sitting. They have the usual 
Portuguese and tropical horror of fresh millv ; on the other hand, 
the soured form, here called Coalhada, and in Hindostan " Dahi," 
has a high reputation; it certainl}^ is antibilious. The rest of 
the diet is Jacuba, which has been before mentioned, sun-dried 
meat, water melons, and beans * with lard. Almost all smoke, a 
few take snuff, and very few chew. 

A characteristic of the barqueiro is his aptitude for mild slang- 
ing and chaffing, the latter being a practice abhorrent to the 
Brazilian mind in general. '^ O Senlior e muito ca9uador " — a 
great joker — means that you are not pleasant. He has also the 
habit of the Hindu palanquin-bearer carrying a " griffin," and 
will, if impudent, extemporise songs about his patron. The lan- 
guage renders the rhj^me eas}^, but the stranger is astonished by 
the facility with which men and women squatting on then* heels f 
answ^er one another in Amabsean verse, made without a moment's 
thought. Althougli we have had an Ettrick Shepherd, many 
deride the pastorals wherein the swains prefer poetry to jDrose. 
They should hear the barqueiro of the Sao Francisco River 
capping verses with his *' young w^oman," and making songs about 
everything in general. Similarly the opera is held to be fictitious 
and unreal because emotions and passions are expressed in music ; 
but the negroes of Central Africa show by chaunting when their 
sorrow is deepest, and the South American Botocudos evince 
excitement by singing instead of speaking. "lis ne paiient plus ; 
ils chantent," says the traveller. 

* This is an excellent food, not only for garis). Tliere are many others, 

cattle (70 per cent, of nourislnnent to 60 + Tliis position is nsual in the wild parts 

of oats). The principal species of these of the Brazil. The eye familiar -with it in 

Papilionacete are Feijao Preto (Phaseohis Eastern lands is struck by it when the 

derasus), Feijao Carrapato (P. tumidns and squatter wears the garb of the "West, 
sphsericus), and Feijao Mulatinho (P. vul- 


Naturally the subject matter is mostty amorous. The 
barqueiro delights in screaming ''a largas guelas," at the top of 
his voice, some such verse as 

Hontem vi uma dama 
Por meu rispeito cliorar. 

He eternally praises the Cor de Canella or brunette of these 
regions, and he is severe upon those of the sex who dare to 
deceive the poor mule-trooper or boatman. 

Mulher que engana tropeiro 
Merece couro dobrado 

Coitadinlio tropeiro coitado ! (chorus). 

He thus dii'ects Mariquinha to put the kettle on : — 

Beta frango na panella 
Quanda vejo cousa boa 
Nao posso deixar perder. 

Pilota (ctorus). 

Some of the songs still haunt my ears, especially one which much 
resembled " Sam 'AH." The more and the louder they sing the 
better for the journey; it seems to revive them as the bell does 
the mule. 

The superstitions of the barqueu'o are as numerous as his 
chaunts. He beheves fii-mly in the Duende or Goayajara, wizard 
and witch, the Lobishomem or loup-garou of Portugal, the Angai, 
the Anhanga,"* the Ahna or ghost, the Esqueleto or skeleton 
apparition, the Gallo Preto, or bad priest turned into a black cock, 
and the Capetinha or imp. They have curious tales about the 
Cavallo de Agua and other fabulous animals. This beast is the 
size of a small colt, round-hoofed, red-haired, and fond of brows- 
ing on the banks. The ''Menino " declares that he saw it in a 
pocao or kieve below the Cachoeu'a dos Geraes in the Pvio das 

* Angai in the ''Tesoro de la lingua applied to a barbarous idea. Tliey denote 

guarani " is translated "the evil spirit," subjectivities which may be reduced to the 

also called Giropary, Jurupari, and Jeru- totality of central and nervous action. The 

pari. I presume that it was really applied Alma is like Dr. Johnson's, or rather Mr. 

to that injured man or to some ghost that Cave's " ghost '' — "something of a slia- 

had made itself notoriously unpopular. dowy being." N obrega and Anchieta -ni'ote 

Anhanga is Anglicised " phantom " (phan- Anhanga, Yves D'Evreux, Aignan, Bar- 

tasma) from "anho," alive, and "anga," riere, x\naanh ; and other forms used upon 

ghost, soul, spirit : thus it means soul the Continent and the Islands are Uracan 

only — soul without body. Of course, (hurricane ?), Hyorocan, Amignao, and 

"soul" and "spirit" are civilised terms Amignan (F. Denis). 

P 2 


Vellias, and that a youtli fired at it. Perhaps it may be the 
Lamantin, so well known in the Amazonas waters, but I am not 
aware that the Peixe boi (Manatus Amazonicus) has been found 
here. The Cachorrinha d'Agua or water-pup has a white coat 
and a golden star upon the forehead ; whoever sees it will com- 
mand all the gifts of fortune. The Minhocao or large worm, the 
Midgard, the Great Sea Serpent, the Dabbat-el-Arz of the Ai'abs, 
plays a part as important as the Dragon in China. It is 120 feet 
long by 2 in diameter, barrel shaped, scaleless, bronze-coloured, 
and provided with a very small mustached mouth. The Minhocao 
is a perfect " Worm of Wantley " in point of anthropophag}^ 
St. Hilaire (III. ii. 133) heard of it in the Lagoa Feia of Goyaz. 
At first he beheved it to be the Gymnotus Carapa, then a gigantic 
Lepidosiren. Col. Accioli (p. 8) holds it to be an extinct monster. 
Castelnau (ii. 53) speaks of it in the Araguaya. It was 30 to 40 
metres in length, and the terrible voice resounded for many 
leagues. Halfeld (Relatorio, 119) mentions that his men mistook 
for it a tree trunk, and thinks it fabulous. Farther down we shall 
pass a part of the bank which has been injured by the Big Worm, 
and many educated men have not made up their minds upon the 
subject. The superstition is evidently of " Indian " origin.* 

All these legends have a taint of the Tupy, grotesque savage 
who best adorned his j^erson by spreading upon a coat of gum the 
hashed plumery of gaudy birds, in fact who invented tarring and 
feathering b}' appljing it to himself ; experimentum in corpore vili. 
Classical, and worthy to rank with the Sea Fairy Tales, however, 
is the Mae d'Agua, a spirit, a naiad, a mermaid who aspires to 
be a mer-matron, and who inhabits the depths of Brazilian 
rivers. Of perfect form, utterly disdaining the fish-tail, aird 
clothed only in hair glittering like threads of gold, she is also a 
siren. Her e^^es exercise iiTCsistible fascination, and none can 
withstand the attraction of her voice. She is fond of bo3"S, lilve 
most of her sex, when arrived at a certain age, and she seduces 
beautiful boatmen. Unlike the churlish Undines and Melusines 

* Thus Lieut. Herndon (Chapter 8), called in the Lengua Inga (Inca), 'Yacu 

speaking of the Lake Country of the Upper Mama, * or mother of the waters ; and the 

Amazons, remarks, ' ' Many of these lakes Indians never enter a lake with which they 

are, according to the traditions of the are not familiar that they do not set uj) an 

Indians, guarded by an immense serpent, obstreiierous clamour with their horns, 

which is able to raise such a tempest in the which the snake is said to answer, thus 

lake as to swamp their canoes, when it giving them warning of its ijresence." 
immediately swallows the people. It is 


of Europe, when she pro^ooses a change, she dismisses her lovers 
with great wealth. Gon^alves Dias, the poet, has made of her a 
malevolent pixj, a Lurelei, whose object is to drown youth ; but 
he takes away none of her charms. 

Olha a bella creatura 
Que dentro d'ag-ua se ve ! 




" One of the best gifts of nature, in so grand a channel of communication, 
seems here wilfully thrown away." — Darwin, Naturalisfs Voyage, Chap. vii. 

Lieutenant Mauey is undoubtedly correct when he remarks 
that the valle3^s of the Amazons and the Mississippi are commer- 
cial complements of each other, one supplying what the other 
lacks in the great commercial round. The geographical homo- 
logy of the riverine formations in the Northern and Southern 
divisions has also been remarked by many writers. The Amazons 
represents the comparatively diminutive Laurentian system.* 
The Kio de la Plata is the Mississippi, the Paraguay is the 
Missouri, and the Parana is the Ohio, whilst the Pilcomayo, the 
Bermejo, and the Salado are the Plata, the Ai'kansas, and the 
Bed Piver. 

The Pio de Sao Francisco has been trivially compared with 
the Mississippi and with the Nile. It presents an analogy with 

♦ The valleys of the Amazons and the Paraguay Rivers can easily be connecteJ like 
those of the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi. 


the African Niger, but none with those of North America. One 
of many, it rises in the South, flows to the North with easting, 
and near the end of its course it bends eastwards and disem- 
bogues into the Atlantic. It is the external segment of sundry 
similar sections of cu'cles, bounded by basins draining north 
to the Amazons, and west and south-west to the Parana-Plata : 
the included arcs are the great Jequitinhonha and the Doce rivers. 
Further South is the Parahj-ba do Sul, and South again the 
Eibeira de Iguape.* Except the latter all these streams burst 
through the barriers which more or less developed subtend this 
part of the South American, as they do the corresponding portion 
of the African, seaboard. 

The oldest traditions (Noticias do Brazil, 1589) derived from 
the savages, make the Sao Francisco rise in a " great and famous 
lake which it would be very desii-able to discover." Luccock 
(p. 530) remarks, "in the St. Francisco and the Parana we beheld 
the drains of an immense mternal lake, bounded on the east b}^ 
the Serros Frio and Mantiqueira, on the south by that of Mara- 
cana, and on the west by those which separate the Parana from 
the Paraguay, or He bej^ond those streams. The waters of this 
ancient elevated sea have burst their barriers in S. lat. 15° and 
20°, and are still wearing their channels deeper at the Falls of 
Pirapora in the north, and Setequedas in the south ; just as the 
Lakes Erie and Ontario, in North America, will, in all proba- 
bility, be drained by wearing away the impediments which now 
form the Falls of Niagara." M. Halfeld (Relatorio, p. 108) 
is inclined to thmk that the Serras of '' Ibyapaba," t and the 
Itacutiara, Brejo and Itacaratu, with the minor features near 
the Monte Escuro were of old the walls of an extensive '' salt- 
water sea." He drains it off through the Eapids of Itaparica 
(317 leagues I) which burst and formed the great futm-e Paulo 
Affonso. Salinas abound upon its Ime, the grits and calcareous 

* This stream rise s to the east or sea- celebrated Pjiiiguara tribe v/as originally 

ward side of the great Serra do Mar, Iby-tiva-cua-jara, the lords of the land- 

which in the southern province of Sao valley. According to ]\I. Brunet, of 

Paulo bends away fi'om the shore. The Bahia, the height of the range does not 

etymology is "yg," water, "cua," belt, exceed 2200 metres. Mr. Keith John- 

and "ipe," a place where. I reserve the stone has adopted Ibiapaba, and Gardner 

Eibeira for a future volume. informs us that the Poi-tuguese name is 

t Sr. J. de Alencar prefers to write Serra Yermelha. M. Halfeld writes Hip- 

"Ibyapaba." Yieira translates it "Terra piapaba. 

aparada," and Maii^ins explains it by J JVI. Halfeld's first league was at the 

"Iby,"land, and "pabe," all. " Iby " Pirapora, and he places the junction of 

is often corrupted : thus the name of the the Rio das Velhas, 


marls contain an abundance of salt (chloride of sodium), and 
Chilian saltpetre (nitrate of soda), * and as in the Valley of the 
Indus the Sal da terra effloresces during the dr}^ season. I may 
add that the presence of iodine would explain the absence of 
goitre, and the fact that the cocoa-nut palm flourishes at such 
abnormal distances from the ocean. 

The main somxe of the Eio de Sao Francisco is in the eastern 
versant of the Serra da Canastra, the great central platform of 
Minas Geraes, between S. lat. 20° and 20° 30' and W. long. 3° 
(Pdo de Janeiro). " From the gap of a perpendicular rock more 
than 1000 feet high," says the Baron von Eschwege, " bui'sts the 
principal nascent of the Sao Francisco." The spot was visited 
by St. Hilaire (III. i. 184), and " tore from liim a cry of admira- 
tion." He gives to the Casca d'Anta Cascade 667 feet of 
altitude, and he remarks " qu'on se tache de se representer la 
reunion de tout ce qui charme dans la Nature ; le plus beau 
ciel, des roches eleves, une cascade majestueuse, les eaux les 
plus limpides, la verdure la plus fraiche, enfin des bois vierges 
qui presentent toutes les formes de la vegetation des tro- 

The waters of the young river sweep from west to east for a 
distance of about fifty-five and a half leagues, and are mere 
mountain torrents. Before receiving the Paraopeba the breadth 
of the united stream is 140 metres, and the maximum depth 3*25 
metres, with a discharge of 130 cubic metres per second. The 
direction is then from south to north with the Serra Grande or 
Espinhaco on the east, and the Mata da Corda forming the 
western wall. From the Paraopeba to the Pirapora Kai^ids the 
line has been surveyed, it inclines at first to the west and then 
to the east, the distance being forty and four-fifths geogi'ai)hical 
leagues (226,845 metres). From the Pirapora to the Cachoeii'a do 
Sobradinho, a distance of 239 — 240 leagues, the whole line is 
ready for a steamer, and including the Rio das Velhas, a total of 
508 leagues can be made transitable with little difficulty. Below 
the Sobradinho there are twenty-nine clear leagues, followed by 
forty-four which, though dangerous, are transitable to rafts and 
canoes. From Varzea Redonda, twent^^-five to twenty-six leagues 
are unnavigable, and in this section occur the Great' Rapids of 

See Chap. 10, wlicrc the nitrate of potassa will Le mentioned. 




Paulo Affonso. Finally, below the line of rapids, forty-two 
leagues, upon which steamers now ply, connect the Lower Rio de 
Sao Francisco with the ocean. It is here unnecessary to enter 
into details of direction * or distance, as we shall float down the 
whole way. 

The Annuaire du Bureau des Longitudes de France assigns to 
the Sao Francisco the foui'th rank amongst the streams of South 
America. It follows the Amazons (5400 kilometres f ), until lately 
held to be by far the largest river in the world ; I the Parana- 
Plata (3440 ks.) and the Tocantins (2300). But M. Liais has 
shown that the Sao Francisco has been wrongly assumed to 
represent 2100 kilometres : from its source to the mouth of the 
Pdo das Yelhas is 800 kilometres, and 2100 from that point to 
the sea : the total, therefore, will be 2900. § Thus the cosmic 
rank of our stream will be seventeen or eighteen, j In Em-ope 
it is surpassed only by the Volga ; in Asia by the Yenissei, the 
Yang-tse-Kiang, the Hoang-ho, the Oby, the Lena, the Amour, 
and the Mei-Kong ; in Africa by the Nile, the Niger, the Zam- 

* We may briefly remark that it runs 
north, with a little westing as far as 
the Urucuia R. (.30th league from the 
mouth of the Rio das Velhas), noi'th-north- 
east to the Bom Jesiis da Lapa (106th 
league) ; north, with a little westing to 
the Villa da Barra (162nd league). This 
meridional course is plea.sant to the travel- 
ler, who always regrets when he must east 
or west, and thus catch the sun. Then 
begins the long north-eastern bend, whose 
apex is Cabrobo or Quebobo (278th 
league). Thence the stream curves to 
the south-south-east, and finally to the 

+ Lieutenant Hemdon assigns to the 
Ucayali-Amazon an uninterrupted navi- 
gation of 3360 miles. He estimates in 
round numbers the flu\dal lines of the 
valley for large vessels at about 6000 miles, 
and he supposes that, including the 
numerous small streams, the length would 
swell to 10,000 (p. 280). 

X The Nile is rapidly rising in point of 
length. My friend ]\Ir. A. Gr. Findlay, 
the geographer, says (June 3, 1867)— "If 
the source be near the Muxinga Range 
. the total course will be 3500 
geographic or 4050 British miles, almost 
unparalleled by any other river." 

§ Professor D.T. Ansted(p. 34, Elementary 
Course of Greologj', Mineralogy and Ph3\sical 
Geography) gives the Sao Francisco a total 

direct length of 1000 British statute miles ; 
and of 1600, including wdndings, whilst he 
sets dowTi the area of drainage at 250,000 
square miles. Sir John Herschel (Physical 
Geography, p. 188) says — "The basin of 
the San Francisco includes the district (?) 
of Minas Geraes, the great source of the 
mineral wealth of Brazil. It includes an 
area of 187,200 square geographical miles 
in length to its source in the Sierra da 
]\Iatta da Corda (?)." It is regi-ettable 
when any but professed geographers write 
geography. Mr. Gerber makes the total 
of the two hydrographic basins in the 
Province of Minas to contain 20,000 square 
leagues (180,000 square geographical 
miles), and amongst these he places first 
the Sao Francisco, to which he assigns 
8800 square leagues, or 79,200 square 
geographical miles. 

II M. Liais assigns to it the 16th place. 
But at present it is very difficult to calcu- 
late the area of the Zambesi and the Congo 
Rivers. Assiiming the former to rise in 
E. long. 16° and to debouch in E. long. 36" 
(and to extend between lat. 8° and 18°), 
with the mean length of a degree of 58*472, 
we have a greater direct course than the 
Sao Francisco. The Congo is not to be 
estimated in the present state of geogra- 
phical knowledge : it will probably prove 
itself equal to the Nigex*. 

218 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BllAZIL. [chap. xv. 

besi (?) and tlie Congo (?) ; in America b}" the Amazons, the 
Mississippi, the Parana-Plata, the St. Louis, St. Lawrence, and 
the Mackenzie. 

A late expedition has decided that the basins of the Piauhy 
and the Amazons are identical, and that both are lilve the Missis- 
sip2:>i, cretaceous formations. Neither Professor Agassiz nor 
Mr. Orestes St. John found marine deposits, but these may 
have escaped the notice of a flying survey. They judged that 
both were of fresh-water origin. During the cosmic winter the 
glaciers had moved down to the valleys, without, however, plough- 
ing then- soles, or leaving those " glacial inscriptions," furrows, 
stride, and burnishings which characterise ice-action. When the 
frozen masses w^ere raised by thaws, the triturations were depo- 
sited at the bottom, and now form the underlying distinctly 
stratified sandstones and the loose sands. Upon these rest the 
clay formations, laminated, stratified, cross-stratified, and un- 
stratified, with lines and waves of coarse gravel and pebbles, 
whose material is quartz, often highly ferruginous. Capping the 
whole is the sandy and once pasty clay, red with ochre, and 
common to the Brazil and intertropical Africa. It overspreads 
the imdulating surface of denuded sandstone, following all its 
inequalities, and filling up its furrows and depressions. The 
breaking up of the geological winter, and the final disappearance 
of the ice, formed a vast fresh-water lake. This, after a someAvhat 
com2:>licated histor^^ finalty burst its seaward dyke, effected de- 
nudation on a gigantic scale, and wore the land down to its 
rock-core, except where the strata were hard enough to resist. 
Professor Agassiz found distinct moraines, and shows that in- 
stead of forming a Delta, the mouth of the Amazons has suffered 
extensively from the encroachments of the ocean. Li the case of 
the Sao Francisco the river builds up faster than the sea can 
destroy ; and the denudation of the coast is not to be compared 
with that further north. Its Delta does not equal in size those 
of the Nile, the Niger, and the Zambesi, but it is distinctly 

M. Halfeld (Pelatorio, p. 172) opines that the gres, or sandstone 
grit, is the characteristic formation of the Pdo de Sao Francisco. 
The stream rises, as has been seen, from the great central plat- 
form of Minas : its material is the Itacolumite or granular 
laminated sandstone, which seems to compose the central and 


the iiGT^'er portions of tlie continent.* Some would compare 
these deposits with the vast Sihirian beds of North America. At 
present characteristic proofs are wanting. M. Chusin (Bulletin 
de I'Academie de Bruxelles, viii. 5) found the print of a 
univalve in the modern red grits of Minas Geraes. Travellers 
and miners, however, are both agreed that hitherto the Brazil, 
and even Southern America generally, resembles Africa in 
the difficidt}' of finding organised fossil bodies, and thus it is 
difficult to decide the geologic age of the immense grit deposits 
in the Eastern and Northern plateau. This Itacolumite reap- 
pears at Bom Jardim (138th league) and runs down stream 
alternating with coast granite. 

Below the gneiss and schist of the Pii*apora, we find sand and 
sandstones here brown, there of a deep ochre, often highly ferru- 
ginous, rarely stratified, and more or less nodulous and j)orous. 
This formation resembles the coast '^ di'ift," and once covered 
continuously all the river valley ; it is still superficial except 
where the flood-mud has acciunulated upon it, and in parts it 
shows intervening layers of clay. It is also broken by outcrops 
of hard, blue mountain-limestone, and by argilliferous or hy- 
draulic limestones, compact or stratiform, and abounding in 

Further down stream are close sandstones resembling ferru- 
.ginous quartzite and covered with a polished crust, either 
chemical or mechanical. The rocks are blackened to the colour 
of dark coke in places where the floods have less polishing 
power and the presence of the muTory glaze upon the brown, 
yellow or red rock, sandstone, granite and syenite, readily gave 
the high-water mark. In many parts it resembled magnetic 
iron, and I tried it upon the needle without any effect. The 
coating did not exceed wafer-thickness, and in places where the 
softer material had yielded, glazed sheets, and surfaces partially 
glazed, stood up detached. The people term these tinted rocks 
Pedras de Marumbe, evidently believing them to be ii'onstones. 
The glaze, however, is of three kinds ; the darkest purple, which 

* Tlie same grit was found by Castelnau believes that as a rule the low-lying and 

on tlie Tocantins River, and on his route hot j^ortions of the South American conti- 

from Groyaz to Cuyaba, in Mato Grosso. nent are of much older date than the 

Near Santa Cruz of JNIinas Greraes he also Highlands otfsetting from the Cordilleras, 

mentions erratic blocks of a granite which and whose formations are placed regularly 

does not exist in the neighbourhood. That as those of Europe, 
traveller records the absence of fossils, and 


appears black in the shade, another is plumbago-black (peclra 
negra), while the third is a warm red-yellow, probabl}" pm'e fer- 
ruginous matter deposited upon boulders whose inner colour is 
the same (pedra cabocla).* On the Sao Francisco the further 
we went down the deeper became the tint, and the denser the 
glaze, till in j^laces above and below and about the Great Eapids, 
the monstrous masses looked like castings of solid metal. This 
would suggest that it is the work of the stream, but it is difficult 
to decide whether the waters carried it in solution, or whether 
their friction had drawn it from the interior to the surface. 
Analyses by Berzelius and Charles Konig made it to consist of 
oxides of manganese and iron, f The specimens from the Atures 
proved to contain, besides oxide of manganese, carbon and super- 
carburetted iron, but they blackened the paper in which they 
were wrapped. Such is not the case here, nor do the people 
attribute to them any noxious influence ujoon the atmosphere. 

The subject was, I believe, first discussed by Humboldt. | He 
found that ''whenever the Orinoco, between the missions of 
Carichana and of Santa Barbara, periodically washes the granitic 
rocks, they become smooth black, and as if coated with i)lum- 
bago." On the Congo Paver I observed the thin shining black 
crust, strikingly resembling the coatings of meteoric stones, to 
begin at Boma, just below the narrows of the Zaire, and to 
extend up to the Yellalah or Great Eapids, in fact where the 
stream is most turbulent. Here it was first observed by the 
expedition of 1816 under Captain Tucke}-, and the specimens 
were described by M. Konig. § In 1832 Mr. Darwin found near 
Bahia, where a rivulet entered the sea, and where the surf and 
tidal waves supply the polishing power of cataracts, coatings of a 
rich brown like those of the Sao Francisco, and he justty remarks 
that *'hand specimens fail to give a just idea of these burnished 
stones which glitter in the sun's rays." He could assign no 

* I never heard tlie people say, as on the + Personal Narrative, vol. ii. chap. 20 : 

Orinoco, that "the rocks are burnt" (or Bohn's Scientific Library, London, lSf>2. 
carbonised) " by the rays of the sun," § Tliat geologist (Appendix to Captain 

or that "the rocks are black where the Tuckey's Expedition, No. 6) argued from 

waters are white." the primitive rock-formations of the lower 

+ I have sent to Europe specimens of Zaire the probability that the ' ' mountains 

these curious rock-incrustations from the of Pernambuco, Rio, and other adjacent 

Sao Francisco River. During the few parts of South America, were primevally 

months since they were removed, the glaze connected with the opposite chains that 

has become comparatively dull, and looks traverse the plains of Congo and Loango." 
as though it required renewal. 




reason wli}^ these coatings of metallic oxides always remained of 
nearly the same thickness. During his second expedition Dr. 
Livingstone (chap, ii; Zambesi and its Tributaries) remarks of 
the rocks of the Kibrabasa Eapids, that "they were covered with 
a thin black glaze, as if highly polished and coated with lamp- 
black varnish." This was apparently deposited wdiile the river 
Vv^as in flood, for it covers only those rocks which lie between the 
highest water-mark and a line about four feet above the lowest. 
This aj^pearance has also been remarked upon the Cataracts of 
the Nile.* 

In the river valley, runnmg parallel with the glazed rocks, are 
detached hills rising abruptly from the level surface, and divided 
from one another by low spaces, t Some of these piers, which 
appear to be pinned down, as if they w^ere segments of dykes to 
control the stream, and to keep it from wandering, are composed 
of almost pure magnetic iron ; t we ascended several of them, and 

* M. Rozi'Jre pointed out to Humboldt 
that the primitive rocks of the little cata- 
racts of Syene display, like those of the 
Orinoco, a glossy sui-face of a blackish 
grey or almost leaden colour. 

f For the first few leagues below the 
mouth of the Rio das Yelhas, the Sao 
Francisco runs between containing walls. 
Thence to Urubu in the 127th league, it is 
bounded by the scarjDs of ridges which 
divide the secondary river-valleys. The 
detached hills backed by " denudation 
mountains " appear below Urubu. 

t This vast iron formation is not noticed 
by M. J. A. Monlevade, who in 1854 ad- 
dressed Sr. Diogo de Vasconcellos, then 
President of Minas Greraes. He declares 
the Province to be i)eculiarly adapted for 
the industry, having a healthy temperate 
climate, a vast expanse of virgin forest to 
supply charcoal, and waterfalls which will 
everj'where facilitate the ajiplication of 
machinery. The united deposits contain 
more iron than the whole of Eui'ope, con- 
sidering the richness of the ^angue, which 
gives 76 per cent, of pure metal. It is 
principally martite, or magnetic ore almost 
alM'ays accompanied by Jacutinga, oxydu- 
lated iron, or protoxide of iron, with 
layers of manganese and titanium in the 
sandy state. The analysis by Dr. Percy of 
the micaceous Itaberite gives 68 'OS per 
cent, of metal thus distributed — Sesqui- 
oxide of iron, 97*25 ; peroxide of manga- 
nese, '14; lime, 0*3 4; residue, silica, &c., 
1 '88 ; a trace of magnesium and no phos- 
phoric acid : total, 99 '61. Overlying the 

rich ores is often Cdnga, or hydr'ate of iron, 
worked in Europe by air fui-naces : it is 
here neglected, because its yield is only 
from 25 to 35 per cent. There are besides 
huge scatters of mineral, five principal 
ranges lying at a mean distance of eighteen 
leagues east and west of one another on a line 
perpendicular to their trend. The richest 
diggings are associated with gold, which 
occurs for the most part in the lower hills, 
slopes, and valleys. The metalliferous 
strata strike from north -north -east to 
south-south-west, inclining to the east : 
the breadth is one-eighth to one quarter of 
a league, and the dejtth is unknown. 

JSTo. 1. Cordillera, beginning from the 
east, extends from near Sacramento, Muni- 
cipality of Santa Barbara, Parish of Prata, 
crosses the Piracicava River rid S. 
Domingos and Jequitib^, covers a vast sur- 
face near the Ribeirao de Cocaes-Grrande, 
and after twelve leagues, is lost in the 
forests. The land is everywhere wooded 
on both versants, the soil is fertile, and 
water abounds. 

No. 2 is ten leagues long. It rises in 
the farm of Professor Abreu, 3 4 leagues 
above the village of S. Miguel, and it 
forms the left-hand wall of the Piracicava 
River. *'Moito Aguado " (Agudo ?), its 
culmination, fronts the foundry of M. 
Monlevade, and crosses his grounds for a 
whole league. 

No. 3, twelve leagues long, ajjpears in 
the "Capao," south of Ouro Preto, is rich 
to the west of that city, prolongs itself 
fid Santa Anna and Antonio Pereira, forms 


I reserve a further notice. The low hinds are finely laminated 
sands and clays with regular cleavage, where sun-burnt and air- 
baked, and patched with a variety of colours, white and black, 
blue and grey, pink and yellow, crimson and orange. The iron- 
dotted levels are backed by ranges of denudation mountains, 
which, from the stream, appear to be concave. Their smooth 
table tops and terraces show that they were once continuous 
walls, now isolated b}^ weathering on a vast scale, and being 
still degraded by tropical rains and suns. The superior hard- 
ness of their ferruginous sandstone saved them from being worn 
down to the low alluvial levels, and the laminated formations at 
their base. 

The great granitic formation of the coast reappeared about the 
238th league, and continued with interruptions to the Bapids of 
Paulo Affonso, where it passed into syenite. Approaching tliis 
feature, and due south of the Araripe plateau, where Dr. Gardner 
found, on argillaceous ground, the stone-cased fishes of the 
cretaceous sj^stem, the end of the secondary epoch, appeared 
signs of a remarkable correspondence with the Amazons. On 
both sides of the river were arenaceous buttresses suggesting 
gault. The coarser materials had invariably settled in the lowest 
levels, and above were the fine grits known to the people as 
"Pedras de Amolar," or whetstones. In this part he found 
agates and an abundance of flint, with the coticular sandstone 
re-occurring about Paulo Affonso and the Porto das Piranhas. 
On the lower S. Francisco, after j^assing the rapids, about 
Talhado (332nd league) in Alagoas, I saw the same sandstone 
overlying granite and underlying limestone. Near the town of 
Propia (367th league) there is an outcrop of lime, and extensive 
deposits of modern calcaire are met with on the lower courses of 
the shoii broad streams which cut the coast line. 

the MoiTo d'Agua Quente and the cross the great Cordillera to Curral d'El-Rei, 

chain of the Caraga, and is lost opposite crosses the liio das Velhas at Sahara, forms 

the mine of the Griiarda Mur Innocencio. the Piedade Range, and prohably reappears 

No. 4, twenty leagues long, begins at the far north at Graspar Rodrigues, Candonga, 

south of the Card^a half a league from Ca- in the Serra Negra and in the Grao Mogor 

Ijanema, and extending north via Cachoeira ■ — all places very rich in iron. 

Morro Vermelho, 1109a (Rossa) Grande, Evidently, says M. Monlevade, it wants 

G-ongo Soco, Cocaes, Brucutu, and the nothing but roads, which will save 7 $ OUO 

Serra da Conceigao, forms the peak of the out of 8 $ 000, and an import duty on 

Northern Itabira. foreign iron of 25 per cent. A few model 

No. .5, eighteen leagues long, begins establishments would soon give an impetus 

south of Itabira do Campo, which is com- to the trade, 
posed of pure oxide of iron, accompanies 


St. Hilaire (I. ii., 14), when describing tlie course of the Sao 
Francisco, had remarked, " La rive gauche, phis elevee que la 
droite, est generalement moins exposee aux debordemens." Col. 
Accioli (p. 14) seems to confirm this observation, which was 
probably only local. The great river, however, flows on a 
meridian, and the result of the compound motion produced by its 
northern course and the earth's revolution from west to east, 
tends theoretically to withdraw the weight of water from the left 
or western side, and to throw it against the right or eastern. 
Thus it has been remarked, that on long lines of railways running 
north and south, the wear is on the eastern rail. Practically I 
did not find that this theory, which has been extensively discussed 
in Kussia, affected the Sao Francisco. 

This stream is not a ''holy river," caret quia vate sacro, but 
its future will be more honorable than the past of the Ganges or 
the Indus. The valley and the high dry Geraes which limit it 
on both sides contain all the elements of prosperity required by 
an empire. The population is now calculated at 1,500,000 to 
2,000,000, probably nearer the latter than the former, and it can 
support 20,000,000 of souls. As was said of the Upper Amazon, 
''here the sugar-cane and the pine-apple maybe seen growing by 
a spectator, standing in the barley-field and the potato patch." 
The uplands can breed in any quantities black cattle, horses, 
mules, sheep, pigs and goats, while there will be no difficulty in 
acclimatisino- the camel. Of mineral wealth, besides diamonds 
and opals (?), agates, gold and iron, we find mentioned by M. E. 
de la Martiniere* and others, platina, argentiferous galena, 
mercury, cop]3er (near the Sete Lagoas), antimony, arsenic, man- 
ganese, cobalt and various ppites. Salt and saltpetre, sulphur 
and alum have been found in large deposits. Of building materials 
we notice marble, freestone and slate, lime generally dispersed 
and hydraulic cement; silex, grindstones and potter's-clay are 
also abundant. The land is admu'ably fitted for the silk-worm, 
and for the cultivation of cotton, which will some day rival its 
immense fisheries, t The basin of the Silo Francisco is terres- 

* Official Letter. Annexe X. to Presiden- 2. Camurim, mirim, and assu (large and 

tial Relation of 1867. small), white with dark stripes on both 

+ The names of the fish not occurring sides, 
in the following pages, but mentioned by 3. Tubarana, dourada (yellow), and 

]VI. Halfeld, and referred to by the people, branca, a large fish, lean up-stream, but 

ave : — The scaly : much admired below the rapids. 

1. Camurupim (?), short and thickset. 4. B\gre de Ouro.(.') 


trial not aquatic, and it is completely isolated by cataracts near 
the source and above tlie mouth. The fishes, therefore, which 
have Amazonian names will i:)robabl3" be found to be distinct. 
The locahsation of species lately found, even to a greater extent 
than he expected, b}" Professor Agassiz, who remarked that the 
main arter}^ of the great northern basin was broken up into 
distinct families, will be the case here. The riverines, who have 
never attempted classification, or distribution, or limitation, can 
generally tell whether a fish is or is not caught below certain 
grounds. The naturalist who shall attempt the ichthyologj- of 
the Sao Francisco will have before him the task of years. The 
stupendous results obtained by Professor Agassiz, the revolution 
of ichth^^ology of which he sj^eaks, were effected by an immense 
collaboration, public and private, as far as collection extends. 
That savant may be said to have been assisted by the forces of the 

The hop, and to a certain extent the vine, will flourish. 
Amongst the cereals it produces a wealth of maize and rice, 
whilst barley, rye, and probably wdieat, will succeed in the Geraes. 
Most of the fruits and vegetables that belong to the sub-tropical 
and the temperate regions may be introduced. A sugar planta- 
tion lasts ten years, although the cane is most inefficiently treated. 
Coffee grows admirably; tea, congonhas (or mate), and the 
favourite of North- Western Brazil, the guarana (Paullinia sorbites) 
will succeed in low, hot, humid spots. The tobacco is some of 
the best in the Empire : salsaparilla and cochineal-cactus, aloes 

5. Robalo, a kind of pike common in tlie The smooth-skinned are — 
streams of the Brazil. 1. Niqiiim. 

6. Pacamon and Pacamon de Couro, 2. Cumba. 
which, says M. Halfeld, is a soft fish that 3. Prepetinga. 

lives in mud. Gardner describes the I heard also of the Tambure, about one 

Pocomo as an i;gly black fish, about two foot long and held to be good eating, and 

feet long and covered with hard scales ; it the Piguri and Lambari, small fishes from 

keeps near the bottom, is easily netted, which oil is extracted, on the Upper Para- 

and makes good bait, but is rarely eaten. guay lliver. The Shark (Tubarao, Squalus 

The Pacamum of the Amazons is described tubero, Linn. ) has carried off people near 

as of a bright canary colour, and weighing the mouth, and they speak of another large 

10 lbs. fish, the "Meru," x>robably a Squalus, 

7. Sardinha. which some say is anthropophagous, and 

8. Sarapo. others not : it is also found at the mouths 

9. Sibeira or Aragu. of the short disconnected tidal rivers which 

10. Card. drain into the east coast. Of course the 

11. Pirampeba, white and black, a Manatu or Sea-Cow, that representative of 
small flat fish with teeth like needles. the Dinotherium, and the Porpoise of the 

12. Lombia, about one foot long. Amazons, are wanting in the ujJiJer waters 

13. Sudia. of the Sao Francisco. 


and vanilla grow wild. Tlie lumber trade is susceptible of a vast 
development ; the Aroeii'a, tlie Brauna, the Candea, the Peroba, 
the Canella, and the fine hard-woods of the Brazil generally, 
await exploitation. Oil-plants and tanning barks, basts and fibres, 
drugs and gums, as the Jetahy-copal, the Bahn of Peru, the 
Copahj'ba and the Asafoetida, are yielded in abundance, and the 
same may be said of beeswax and of the Carnauba wax, which is 
converted into candles at Pdo de Janeii'o. The dyes are 
abimdant, from indigo to the Pau Amarello, and of cabinet woods 
a long list is headed by the Jacaranda and the Brazilian cedar. 
In the presence of such vast and unexploited wealth awaiting 
the distressed classes of Europe we may exclaim with Goethe, 
''AYho says there is nothing for the poor and vile save poverty and 
crime ? " 

We will now consider the Rio de Sao Francisco in another 
most important light, as a line of communication linking the 
maritune and sub^maritime regions with the Far West, the north 
with the south, facilitating commerce and colonization, obviating 
scarcity by giving an issue to the surplus of the central regions, 
especially when the irregular seasons of the coast mjure agri- 
culture, or when the seaboard may be blockaded. And thus will 
be completed the strategic circle which the Empu-e, if it would 
preserve its integrit}^, now greatly needs. I may here premise 
that the streams of the Brazil between the Amazons and the Plata 
are, like those of the great African peninsula, to be distributed 
under two heads. The many are short and direct, rather 
estuaries than rivers, surface -draining the ranges wliich subtend the 
coast. The few are the long and indirect, like the Sao Francisco 
and the included arcs before specified. The former are of limited 
value, the latter may be extensively utihzed. 

The Brazil is emphatically the land of great, but as yet "un- 
improved," rivers. They have, however, gained for themselves a 
bad name ; * and water communication has been deplorably 
neglected as in British India. Capital for railways being pro- 

^ I came to tlie Brazil prepared to into tlie Atlantic along the whole Brazilian 

believe and to regi'et with llv. Kidder coast, which is na\dgable any considerable 

that, "notwithstanding the number and way from its mouth inland." But actual 

vastness of the rivers flowing through the inspection soon showed that the lower beds 

northern and western portions of the of many streams can be joined by short 

Empire, and finally mingling their waters railways with the upper lines, which are 

with the Amazon and the La Plata, there naturally adapted for communication, and 

is not one, besides the Amazon, emptying which have been completely passed over. 

VOL. ir. Q 


curable at heavy interest from England, tlie various modes of 
communication have been performed in the reverse order of their 
merit. Water communication, a vast and economic power, which 
should have been first undertaken, will be the last ; roads have 
been limited to the use of the mule or the pack-bullock ; and the 
Empire is threatened with a railway system of marvellous inepti- 
tude. In Europe, Italy is perhaps the only country which pro- 
spected before brealdng its ground. Here the want of a Topp- 
graphical Commission on a large scale has made the Pernambuco 
threaten to run into the Bahian Eailway at Joazeiro, and the 
D. Pedro Seguiido cut across the Maua line, and prepare a 
campaign against the Cantagallo and the Santos and Jundiahy. 
I shall reserve this important subject for future consideration. 

Communication by the Valley of the Sao Francisco is still in 
embryo. Dr. Mello Franco, Imperial Dei:)uty, drew attention 
about 1851 to the importance of the Eio das Velhas. As has 
been seen, this stream drains the northern versant of the Minas 
Plateau, whose culminating point is the Itacolumi. Its eastern 
valley wall is the Serra Grande or do Espinhaco ; and westward 
it is divided by a long spine of many names from the Valle}^ of 
the Sao Francisco. More tortuous than the latter, its declivitj^, 
as far as the junction, is less, being an average slope of 0"*'3941 
per kilometre, to 0*4890. During the months of high water the 
whole river is naturally navigable, and exceptional rises would be 
dangerous for only a few days. In March, 1852, a respectable 
Portuguese trader, Manuel Joaquim Goncalez, whom I met at 
Januaria, floated down the Rio das Velhas with three ajojos, of 
which one was lost. In 1862, when the Councillor Jose Bento 
da Cunha Figueirado was President of Minas, the Imperial 
Government ordered a survey under M. Liais and two assistants, 
Lt. Eduardo Jose de Moraes and Sr. Ladislao de Souza Mello 
Netto ; and their admirable plans of the Pdo das Velhas and the 
Upper Sao Francisco are now well known to Europe. 

This Commission preferred the Rio das Velhas as the line of 
communication with the Empire, and apparently for the best 
reasons.* The opening of the Upper Rio de Sao Francisco 

_''*■ Tims the riverines truly observe " But these proportions do not last long. 

Rio de Sao Francisco faz barra (falls into) At tlie Porto das Andorinlias, sixty-tAvo 

llio das Velhas." The discharge of the leagncs above the junction, the debit of 

former at the confiuenco is 446 cubic the Sao Francisco is but tifty-nine cubic 

metres per second, of the latter only 209. n)eti-es, and the llio (has Velhas has the same 


would be a gigantic work for which the country is not 3'et prepared ; 
the Pirapora Eapids alone would cost more to remove than all the 
most important obstacles on the Eio das Yellias. In the thirty- 
four leagues above this point, the Sao Francisco has as many 
'* Cachoeii'as " as the whole of its rival between Sahara and its 
mouth. The ridges traversing the latter are mostlj^ friable and 
shal}' ; the bars rarely exceed six to seven yards at the summit, 
whilst many obstacles are merely detached rocks or sand-bars. 
In the former the material is of the hardest gneiss and sandstone, 
and spread out horizontally sometimes forty to fifty metres. For 
a description of other obstacles, such as the nine terrible leagues, 
so fatal to human life, about the Porto dos Passarinhos, the reader 
^^ill refer to M. Liais. Trade, moreover, has preferred the former 
between the mouth of the Paraopeba River; from_ above the 
confluence hardly a dozen ajojos descend per annum, whilst many 
boatmen, feaiing for tlieii' lives, refuse to hire themselves. The 
small tov/ns are sparsely scattered ; and diu'ing the rains, when 
Carneu-adas drive the inhabitants into the interior, the banks are 
abnost desei*ted.* 

On the other hand, it has been shown that a meridian, with a 
small deviation, connects the metropolis of the Empire with the 
Line of the Pdo das Velhas, Sahara is only sixty-four dii'ect 
leagues from Eio de Janeiro ; tlie analogous point on the S, 
Francisco vrould be ninety leagues- — a weighty consideration 
wlien looking to a Railway, This pro:dmity, combined with 
superiority of climate, will recommend it to colonists. Finall}", 
it is connected vdth more important places, such as Diamantina 
and Curvello. 

M. Liais also decides, I believe rightly, in preferring water to 
land communications. Here again, as in British India, village 
intercommunication has found no place in the sj^stem of public 
works. " Nature's roads," the vilest paths made by the foot, and 
never bearing the impression of the cart-wheel, run down both 
banks of the Piio das Yelhas and the Sao Francisco. Both are 
bad, but usually one is worse than the other. . Even in the dry 
season the canoe is preferred, and during the rains these lines 
are ineAdtably closed. There would l)e great difficulties in 

volumeat 111 leagues from its embouchure. * All agi-ce upon tLe subject^ of tliesc 

The reason is that the former receives fevers, yet the plane of the Upper Sao 
laore affluents in the lower, the latter in Francisco is higher than that of the Rio das 
the upper course, Yelhas, 

Q 2 


making, and even greater in preserving, a rolling road ; and the 
expense from Sabara to Joazeiro (244 leagues) would not be less 
than 12,200: 000 g 000 (say ^1,220,000), whilst the high tolls 
would do away with all the benefit. A similar objection would 
ai^pl}^ to tow-paths for tracking boats. 

M. Liais divides the obstacles of the Kio das Vellias into five 
varieties — stone-piers or detached rocks ; whirlpools, with vertical 
axes ; sand-bars and shallow sharp curves, snags and timber 
encumbering the bed. While greatly admiring his plans, I cannot 
agree with his system intended '' pour assainir la riviere : " he 
wants to make of this wild stream a Seine or a Rhone ; and my 
experience of India and the United States suggests far more 
attention to econom3^ He is too fond of mines and blasting 
applied to soft stone, of "suppressing" boulder-piers, or marking 
every rock, and even shoal, where an accident can happen. Here 
'' un petit travail de canalization" is no joke, yet he would sup- 
press channels; to prevent " echouage," alter the stream-bed; 
change its direction, rectify every abrupt detour, and canalize 
even the shallows : doubtless the first flood would restore the 
'' status quo ante." Often, too, he would obstruct one half of 
the channel and canalize the other, a precarious work. I have 
alluded to his plans of draguage and tunage, either simple or 
'^ avec enrochements; " the removal of the Rapids will render 
these costly works useless by increasing the current, and by 
narrowing the bed where it spreads out in the dry season. He 
wishes to ^' nettoyer " the stream of floating wood, which of 
course will stick where it has stood. To obviate the deposit of 
sands from the gold washings of and about Sabara, he would 
compel proprietors to dig tanks, through which the muddy 
streams would pass and deposit their burdens before entering the 
river. But in the present condition of the Brazil such pre- 
cautions would be impossible ; nor would the profits derived from 
gold-digging enable, as he supposes, mine-owners to make the 
necessary disbursements. He would establish a water-police to 
prevent trees being thrown into the stream ; the policemen would 
probably be the first to throw them. Finally, the key-note of his 
estimates is that the channel should be made independent of 
pilots, and offer no risk even to a mismanaged steamer, I need 
hardly characterize these as works of supererogation.* 

The Brazil is already but too -well ''Les ouvriers Mineiros," says St. Hil. 
inclined towards *' moniiinental works." (I. i, 394) " s'ils mettent de la lenteiir 


A considerable portion of the laboiu' could be carried on only at 
dead low water — that is to say, for thi'ee or foiu' months m the 
3'ear. Half water would suffice for another part. Durmg the 
floods (enchentes) from November to March nothmg could be 
done. About April there is often a small inundation called 
Enchente de Paschoa, wliich would limit the season to six 
months. Thus the swellmg of the S. Francisco sj^stem is almost 
synchronous with that of the Amazons, which begins in No- 
vember, and lasts till May or June, the greater extent of time 
bemg the result of its superior dimensions. Both streams have 
the prelmimary freshets, which will presently be described ; and 
in both the oscillations are known by the name of '' repiquete." 
During the retuing of the waters (vasantes) sickness must be 
expected amongst unaccUmatized workmen seduced from distant 
parts by a rise of wages. 

The following is the estimate proposed by M. Liais : — ■ 

200: 000 1 000 Between Sabard and Macahubas, to admit in the 
dry season a vessel drawing- 0°»'G0 (deeper 
draughts would require a great increase of 
outlay). Canalization of four places and 
" suppression " of rock. 
1 ,730 : 000 $ 000 Between Macahubas and Jequitiba, draught l"-25. 
Draguage, suppression of a ford, rectification 
of Poco Feio, and removing rocks. 

195: 000 $000 Between Jequitiba and Parauna. This is one of 
the worst sections. For same draught. 

480: 000 $000 Between Parauna and embouchure of the Rio das 
Velhas, the finest part of the course ; draught 

Total 2,605: 000 $000 (say £200,000) between Sahara and the mouth, 120 


The followmg are the figures for opening the Upper Rio de 
Sao Francisco : — 

1 ,400 : 000 $ 000 opening the Pirapora Rapids. 

4,100: 000 $000 from Pirapora to Cachoeira Grande included, 

3,200: 000 $000 from Cachoeira Grande to Porto das Melancias. 

Total 8,700: 000 $000 (say £870,000) between Pirapora and the Paraopeba 

River, 41 leagues. 

dans leur travail, au moins ils domient * I need hardly obsei've that such a 

beaucoup d'attention a leiirs ovuTages, et draught is wholly uncalled for. In 1849, 

je crois meme qu'ils les finissent plus que according to ^M. Claudel, on the high 

ne feraient les ouvriers europeens. " Seine, empty _hoats drew on an average 


We will now proceed to the Eio de Sao Francisco. 

M, Halfeld has made a detailed plan rather than a map ; it 
wants meridians, parallels, and the astronomical determination of 
eight or ten points hefore it can be considered correct. The 
letterpress describes every league of the stream ; but as the dis- 
tances are not checked by instruments, it is evident that one 
league must often run into the other. And as any amount of 
paper has been expended, it is much to be regretted that a place 
was not given to enlarged plans of the Rapids and the obstructed 
parts. This is one of the chief merits of M. Liais' publication. 
The German engineer, with true Teutonic industry, probably 
chained down the wdiole distance, and thus also he must have 
ascertained the breadth ; when the stream is very wide, no figures 
are given. Moreover, he was engaged in this gigantic labour for 
the space of only two years, which would be insufficient accurately 
to lay down the topography of the complicated thirty-one leagues 
between Boa Vista (269 leagues), and Surubabe (300 leagues). 

From the details of a '^ desobstruction," which would convert 
this enormous bed into a clear channel — a kind of canal — like 
the Ehine or the Rhone, M. Halfeld i)roposes a total of 
1,089:000$000 (say £108,900). A considerable portion of'this 
expense is mere waste ; removing rocks, building dams, applying 
fascines (which suggest the proverbial tide and pitch-fork), clear- 
ing of snags and timber, sloping banks, erecting quays and other 
improvements — all these may be reserved for the daj^s when 
steam navigation shall have begun. I may observe that a total 
of 12 : 900 g 000 (say £1290) has been devoted to the stream 
between Porto das Piranhas and the Villa de Piassabussu, a line 
upon w^liich steamers have plied smce August 1867, wdthout 
expending a farthing. Strong objection must also be raised to 
any attempt at a canal fifty palms broad at bottom, and extending 
seventy-two leagues (206 geographical miles) between Boa Vista 
and the Porto das Piranhas, the present terminus of steam navi- 
gation. This can hardly succeed ; the land is alternately sandy 
and stony, deeply flooded during the rains, and subject to enor- 

C'n-27; on the Loire and Moselle 0«'-22. miun of l'"-23 (Bretagne, Biisse Loire). 

Steamers on the various streams of France In the United States we find flat-bottomed 

and Germany drew, say ]\I]\L Mathias steamers drawing 22 inches, and a metre 

and Gallon, between a minimnni of 0'"'3G j^uftices for sea-going craft, 
(Ville d'Ojleajis, on the Loire) to a maxi- 


mous evaporation in tlie dry season. Eyiclently a line of light 
rails will be the true system of communication. 

Compared with the two preceding estimates, M. de la 
Martiniere is economical. Theii* united sum for the Eio das 
Yellias and the Pdo de Sao Francisco is £368,900, He reduces 
it to 2,000 : 000 S 000 (say £200,000) ; and for this amount, besides 
clearing the chamiel, he builds bridges and workshops, boats, 
slips, and five tug-steamers. But he runs only between Sahara 
and Joazeii'o. Other ■s\Titers adopt the estimates of M. Liais for 
the desobstruction of the Rio das Vellias, adding 2,400 : 000 $000 
(£240,000) for clearmg the channel between the Sobradmho and 
Varzea Eedonda; and 12,000:0005000 (£1,120,000) for a road 
round the difficulty of Paulo Aft'onso. This estimate represents 
a total expenditure of 17,000:0005000 (1,700,000) for a naviga- 
tion of 476 leagues (1428 miles). 

I will now propose my own estimates, simply premising that 
the plan is not professional, and that I do not intend applying to 
the Brazilian Government for the privilege of carrying them 
out : — 

£55,000 for the Rio das Vellias. 
40,000 to remove the Sobradinho Rapid and the obstructions 

above Joazeiro. 
108,000 Railways and locomotives past the Great Rapids between 
Varzea Redonda and the Porto das Piranhas, thirty-six 
miles (at £3000 per mile, gauge 2 feet to 2 feet 

6 inches). 


With respect to the first charge, £4000 for twenty tons of 
blasting powder, which, however, might possibly be made cheaper 
upon the spot. The machinery would amount, transport in- 
cluded, to £15,500 — viz., two big sledge hammers, and two 
smaller ditto ; and two picks working in slot or cradle, with a 
slot-joint adjustable to the piston, £1000 ; drags for the 
Rapids, £2000 ; and five-horse-power engine mounted on a 
raft, £2500 ; first-class steam-tug, with donkey-engines to follow 
and assist in working, £10,000. The wages and support 
of the working hands may be set down at £30,000; and the 
remainder for '' contmgencies," which in these lands demand a 
large margin. 

The second item I take from M. Halfeld, who proposes to 

2.-12 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. xv. 

expend upon the correction of tlie Sao Francisco channel (240th 
league) to Joazeii^o (247th) the sum of 416: 320 g 000 (say 
^41,632). This is the highest possible estimate ; the work is 
the only absolute necessity between the Rapids of Pii^apora 
(league 1), and the Villa da Boa Yista (269th) ; and as will be 
seen when we reach the place, Nature is doing there her own 

From the Axilla da Boa Vista to the Porto das Piranhas, seventy 
to seventy-two leagues (216 miles), the Sao Francisco can hardly 
be called navigable. Bafts like my own, and canoes traverse even 
in the dry season the first thirty-four leagues between Boa Vista 
and Varzea Eedonda, but with a thousand perils. The remaining 
thirty-eight leagues (114 miles) between Varzea Eedonda and 
Porto das Piranhas are absolutely unmanageable. The minimum 
of railway required will be .£342,000 ; the maximum, s0648,OOO. 
If a marginal tramway be preferred, the expense will be reduced 
to one-half; a cart road would cost about one-third. I rejoice to 
hear that the Government of His Imperial Majesty has sent a 
well-known German engineer, M. Karl Krauss, to ascertain the 
levels which can connect the Lower with the Upper Sao Francisco. 

As the great riverine valley becomes settled, the rapid drainage 
will tend to increase the floods and corresponding droughts. It 
will then be necessary to build dams on the main artery and the 
tributaries, solid piers jorojecting from either shore throwing a 
strong current into the centre, and creating sufficient depth of 
water for navigation. Thus, combined with the removal of the 
Cachoeii^as, the lower valleys will be secured from inundations. 
Again, the droughts of winter can be avoided by deriving supplies 
from artificial lakes and reservoirs constructed on the secondary 
streams. This plan has been proposed for the Mississippi, whose 
area of drainage is a million and a quarter of square miles, and 
whose navigable lines are ten thousand miles. Such bold and 
magnificent schemes have been proposed and partly carried out 
in the New World,* whilst the engineers of Europe have had a 
chronic fear of '^ meddling" with great rivers, and have pro- 
pounded the theory that these were made to make canals. It is 
only a question of time when the Brazil will follow the example 
of the United States. 

* Ellet "On the Ohio and Mississippi Kivers," Philadelpliia, 1853. 


Steam exploitation of the Eio das Vellias is upon tlie point of 
commencing. On Jmie 25, 1867, the President of Minas Geraes, 
Comicillor Joaqiiim Saklanha Marinho, entered into a contract 
with Sr. Henrique Dumont, C.E. The Provincial Government 
bomid itself to pay before June 30, 1867, the sum of 4: 000 $000 
(£400); before July 15, 33:000S000 (£3300); 19:0005000 
(£1900), when a tug-steamer of not less than twenty-five horse 
power should reach Rio de Janeiro, and make up a total of 
75 : 500 S 000 (£7550) after the vessel's first satisfactory trial-trip. 
Counting from June 25, 1869, the engineer was to have for ten 
years the use of the steamer, after which it is to be handed in 
good condition to the Provincial Government. The latter also 
undertakes to solicit admission free from duty of all imported 
articles, such as steamer, boats, tools, and machmery requu-ed 
for clearing the channel ; or should the application fail, to take 
upon itself the expenditm'e. The desobstructions of the bed were 
to be carried out according to the estimates of M. Liais ; and the 
report was that £160,000 would at once be devoted to the work. 

M. Dumont, on the other hand, bound lihnself, under 
penalty, to place within two j^ears after date of signing, a steam- 
tug at Sahara. The vessel to make per mensem two passages, 
gomg and coming (viagens redondas) over the portion of the 
channel which would permit, and at the rate of ten leagues per 
day. The passage money to be 1$ 000 per league ; and for 
goods, OS 100,* while Government emploj-es were to pay only for 
rations. The contractor to keep the steamer in good order, and 
to be responsible for its injmy or loss (except b}' act of God, or 
unavoidable accident), till it should belong to the Provincial 
Government. The stream between Sahara and Jaguara to be 
reformed, according to the plans of M. Liais ; and to be rendered 
navigable, as the public purse shall permit, to its confluence with 
the Rio de Sao Francisco, f 

* The public at once began to complain Sabara and tbe month of the Rio das 

of these conditions. From Sabara to Yelhas, would carry 4000 arrobas (50 to 

Jaguara the passenger will pay 20 $ 000 ; 60 tons). At present this would be done 

and each arroba (32 lbs.) of merchandize by 340 mules and 42 men in 36 days. 

2 $ 000. But the same distance may be The ascent of the boat would demand treble 

done for 4 $ 000 by a mule carrying six to the time and double the crew, yet it would 

seven aiTobas. Time of course is never have a great advantage over transport by 

taken into consideration, animals. 

f ]\I. Liais calculates that a iDoling-boat On the other hand, a small steamer of 

drawing three palms (2 feet 1"8 inches), 20-horse power, biu-ning wood, which is 

with a crew of 10 men working 8 houi-s per everjT\'here plentiful, would tug the same 

diem, and spending 15 days between load, working twelve hours a day, in five days 


Sr. Dumont lost no time. In March, 1868, he brought from 
Bordeaux to Eio de Janeiro the sections of the " Conselheiro 
Saldanha " and " Monsenhor Augusto." The steamers are of 
forty and twentj^-horse power, and their speed will be about eight 
miles an hour, upon a draught of ten inches. About the begin- 
nmg of the next 3'ear they will begin operations upon the Eio das 
Vellias. I have abeady alluded to the horse boat, with inclined 
planes working paddle-wheels, and it is to be hoped that this 
improvement will soon follow the appearance of steamers. 

As early as 1865 His Excellency the Councillor Manoel Pinto 
de Souza Dantas, then President of the Bahian Province, pro- 
posed to place a steamer uj^on the Rio de Sao Francisco. The 
little *' Dantas," ninety feet by fourteen, and of about ninetj^-four 
tons, was built by Mr. Hayden at the Ponta d'Area Works, oppo- 
site Bio de Janeu'o. The plates and machinery had been taken 
to pieces, and were sent numbered, with a model and detailed 
di^awings, by land to Joazeii'o. The road, however, was found 
unfit for wheel vehicles ; of 346 bullocks sixty had died in the 
shortest time, and there had been an equal loss of horses. It is 
regrettable that the fine timber of the Bio de Sao Francisco had 
not been preferred to iron plates, and that local jealousies, of 
which I shall have more to say, had delayed the execution of a 
great project. 

Of late years there has been a re\ival of an idea first suggested, 
I believe, in 1825 by a certain Colonel Joaquim de Almeida, and 
which, since 1832, had ftiUen into oblivion. This is to erect the 
valley of the Sao Francisco into the twenty-first jn'ovince of the 
Empire.* The main object is to remed}^ the social, commercial, 
and political evils which arise from the isolation of the settle- 
ments ; these are often 150 leagues distant from their provincial 
capitals. The only objection of which I am aware is the trifling 
increase of expenditure ; it would, however, soon reimburse itself. 

down, and in eight days \ip stream, with from Sahara to Gnaicuhy, and $ 225 from 

five hands for the tug and two or three for the (ruaicxihy to Sahara, 

hoat. The expense of descending, including '■■ ' ' I find that most of the gentlemen of 
commander and engineer, Avould be the lower Province are disposed to sneer at 
100|000;of ascending, 160 $000. Doubling the action of the Goveniment in erecting 
this sum for time lost in taking in and dis- the Comarca of the Rio Negro into a pro- 
charging cargo, and adding per trip 100 $000 \dnce ; but I think the step was a wise 
for wear and tear of machinery, we have a one. ... If the countiy is to be improved 
total outlay of 600 $000 for each descent, at all, it is to be done in this Avay" (Liei;t. 
and 9001000 for the return. Thus the Ilemdon, 329). 
aiToba should pay a maximum of 0$loO 


Foreigners, who are accustomed to view the Brazil with the most 
superficial glance, have represented to me the evils of increasing 
an official staff ah-eadj far too large. They seem not to be aware 
that the highly constitutional government, wliich has been well 
described as a republic under the disguise of an empii'e, requu-es 
to be strengthened as much as it legally can be, and that good 
"appointments" (as they are called in India) form the readiest 
and most practical mode of strengthening it. And if the Brazil 
cleave to number twenty, she may borrow from her northern sister, 
the United States, an admii'able system " of territories " which 
are there States, and would be here Provinces, in statu pupillari, 
educating for self-rule. 

On the Eio de Sao Francisco, where the subject of No. 21 is 
perpetually ventilated, every city, town, and village is prepared 
and resolved to be the capital. The gTeat rivals are Januaria in 
the south, and to the north Joazeii'o ; both would, I believe, 
remam as they are than accept a subordinate position. The 
desiderata for a chief settlement are man}' : a central site, facility 
of communication with the seaboard and the interior, a healthy 
chmate, and, if i^ossible, rich and fertile lands. As will be seen, 
I would award the palm to Bom Jardim, or to Xique Xique. 

The new^ province or territor}- might embrace the whole vallej- 
of the Sao Francisco Kiver. The south would borrow largel)^ from 
Minas, the Serra de Grao Mogor, Minas Novas, Montes Claros 
and Formigas, on the east ; to the west the valleys of the streams 
Paracutu, das Egoas, Urucuia, Eio Pardo, and Carunhanha. From 
Bahia it would take the western watersheds of the Serra das 
Almas and the Chapada Diamantina, and from Pernambuco the 
Avestern river valley north of Carunhanha. It would extend to 
the Piapids of Paulo Affonso, and communicate with the sea by a 
railway or a tramway, and the steam navigation now upon the 
lower river. And when population and wealth shaU increase, it 
may admit of further subdivision into a southern territory, with 
Januaria for capital, and a northern, in wliich Joazeko would com- 
mand. Each of these would own about 500 miles of liver, and 
both are more worthy of provincial honours than the unimportant 
Provinces of Alagoas and Sergipe, which are crushed like dwarfs 
between the two giants Pernambuco and Bahia. 

The du'ect distance between Rio de Janeiro and Sahara is 
'?° 12' 39'^ or 192 geographical miles, and the usual calculation for 


the length of raihvay Imes is 276 miles. Of this, however, a 
portion has heen covered hj^the D. Pedro Segundo. For^steamer 
navigation we have down the Eio das Vellias 366 miles, and down 
the Pdo de Sao Francisco, from the mouth of the Rio das Yellias 
to the Villa da Boa Vista, 792 miles, perfectly clear, save at one 
point. From Boa Vista to the Porto das Piranhas, the railway 
or tramway will run for 216 miles, and from the Porto das 
Pii^anhas to the mouth of the Sao Francisco, in south latitude 
10° 27' 4'', and west longitude (G.) 36° 21' 4:1", there are 129 miles 
of good navigation. 

Thus we have the segment of an immense circle, whose arc 
numbers 1779 geogTaphical miles, exceeding the average breadth 
of Russia. Of these by raih'oad are only 492, the rest (1287) 
bemg water communication, which is usually considered to be 
ten times cheaper. 

Communication even by steamer will not create population, 
except by attracting colonists ; on the other hand, it will, like the 
railwa}^ benefit the country b}^ collecting and centralising the now 
scattered homesteads. This route of nearly 1800 miles, connect- 
ing the heart of the Brazil with its head, the metropolis, and 
placing its richest Provinces in direct communication with the 
outer world, will be the most important step yet taken. The 
opening of the Rio de Sao Francisco will not only benefit directly 
the Provinces of Minas Geraes, Bahia, Pernambuco, Alagoas, and 
Sergipe, and indirectly those of Goyaz, of Mato Grosso, of 
Piauhy, and of Ceara — it will contribute potently to maintain the 
integrity of the Empire. 



FiKST Travessia, 24 Leagues.'' 


Montanhas vimos, campos mil patentes, 

E huin terreno nas margens tao extensa, 
Que poderd elle so neste hemisferio 
Foiinar com tanto povo lium vasto imperio. 

Cava., 6, 27. 

The Pii-apora Lad been on the Sao Francisco my terminus ad 
quern, and now it was a quo — tlie rest of tlie voyage lying down 
stream. The weather was still surly from the effects of the last 
night's scold, but the air was transparent, cleaned of atoms, 
spores, and molecules, whilst increased humidity, as in England, 
rendered it still clearer. The books no longer curled ^\^!th 
drought, as in the Eio das Yelhas, and an increased reference to 
the quinine bottle was judged advisable. The Vento Geral, or 
Eastern Trade, set in, but we were evidently at the break of the 
rainy season. 

Wednesday, Septemher 18, 1867. — Ember Day. Of com'se delays 
were numerous ; the new crew had to shake hands with the 
villagers. It was noon before the Eliza w^as poled off from the 
bank of Guaicuhy, and tm^ned " head downwards " into the Great 
Stream.! We left on the right the Ilha do Engenho, upon wliicli 
people were congregated ; canoes were made fast to the alluvial 

* The word Travessia is ^\Titteu by numbers thirty leagues. I have heard tlie 

Koster (i. iv. ) Ti'aversia, and translated by boatman, when we crossed the stream under 

M. Jay "Traversee." It is probably a difficidties, call it a " Travessa braba. " 
local form of Travessa, a "passage." In t " Navegar cabe§a abaixo, " in the dia- 

Spanish South America "Traversia" is lect of the river, is opposed to " Cabe9a 

applied to a land stage. This Travessia, or acima," going up-stream, 
trip, begins normally at Pii-ap6ra, and thus 


banks, rising in regular steps or grades ; this side of the island is 
sandy, and fir-trees rise from the banks. The Ilha do Boi led to 
the Barra do Jatoba, a stream coming from the west, and this we 
shall find to be the rule of almost all the great affluents. Its 
waters, called '^ seizoentes," *' sesonarias," ''pestiferas," breed, 
the}^ say, chills. A little below it were detached rocks., Pedras do 
Agato ; * these the pilots did not expect to pass, as the head 
wind, especially during the afternoon, often waxes fierce there — it 
did not offer let or hindrance. Passing '^A Barreii'a,"t where 
there was a clearing and a few huts on the right bank, we saw 
large deposits of the iron-revetted amygdaloid '' Canga." Beyond 
it was the mouth of the Jequitahy]: stream, brealdng the right 
bank with a gap of some 150 feet, and gracefully curving through 
the low trees. On the opposite side is a remarkable point, the 
Pedras de Bura do Jequitahy, horizontal strata of stone from 
which blocks and boulders have been washed into the stream. 

As soon as the air became dusk we looked about for a nighting 
place ; here the working hours are from sunrise to sunset. Boat- 
men will not travel in this part l)y night ; even with the full moon, 
they cannot see the ^' Maretta," or ripple caused by snags below 
surface. Our men preferred the exposed left bank, which supplies 
wood ; the right affords more shelter from the east wind, and from 
the storms which sweep up from that direction. In the river 
tongue, the latter is known as Banda da Bahia, the Bahian side, 
the western being the Banda de Pernambuco. These are old 
names, dating from the days when the captaincy of Pernambuco 
covered part of the present Minas Province. 

This portion of the Sao Francisco, and, indeed, we may say 
the whole course, is more civilised, tamer, and less picturesque 
than the Lower Pdo das Velhas ; we passed hardly a league of 
land without sighting huts or improvements. Making fast at 
5*30 P.M. to a sandy '' praia," and climbing up the steep c\b.j 
bank, we found a small tenement, surrounded b}^ a dwarf field of 
manioc, poor bananas, and first-rate cotton, which seems to 
flourish every^diere. The maisonnette turned its back upon the 

''' Or Agatiio, probaljly a P. N. counterslope of tlie cliaiu that discliarges 

t M. Halfckl calls it ''Barreiva dos eastwards into the Jeqnitinhonha. It is 

Indies," a name given to a place further navigable for canoes, "which ascend it three 

down stream. leagues in the dries, and twenty-eight 

J Or "Gequitahy,"aconsidcral)le .stream, during the rains. 
120 direct miles long, heading in the western 


west, the rainy quarter, and some trouble had been taken to build 
it. There was a kihi constructed in the river bank, a circle four 
feet in diameter by two deep, a clay floor pierced with holes, 
separatmg the fii'e below from the material to be fired : the latter 
operation ajDpears very insufficiently effected both in pots and tiles. 
The Western Valley is bounded at a distance of about five miles 
by the Serra do Itacolumi ; the mists, however, robbed us of the 
view. On the opposite side was the Povoado do Ollio d'Agua, a 
few thatched sheds, buried in orange trees and Jab otic abeiras. 

To-day the stream has averaged some 1200 feet in breadth, and 
in places has widened to 1600 yards. The banks to which the 
flood swings are eaten below, and rise perpendicularly, whilst the 
opposite side assumes the natm-al angle. The height varies from 
25 to 36 feet ; the material is a base of white or reddish sand, 
supporting hard ^' taua," and the surface is rich humus, mixed 
with silt. The suppl}' of wood will last for j-ears, but the vegeta= 
tion is miinteresting after the magnificent avenues of the Eio das 
Velhas. The surface is composed of swells and waves of ground, 
in whose hollows are Alagadi9os, or stagnant waters. Now, also, 
begins the Ypoeira, which partly corresponds ^^itli the Igarape,* 
or canoe path of the Amazons and the Lower Sao Francisco. 
When the bayou is considerable, it retains its water through the 
3^ear, and is drained to the level of the dries by a Sangradouro* 
These little creeks carry a quantity of sand; they are mostly 
disposed perpendicularl}- to the stream, and they assist in unwater- 
ing the waves of gromid which are not reached by the inunda- 
tions. In many places there are lumpy hills, forested or cleared, 
and on both sides the divides of the riverine valley are well 
marked vdih. heights which will disappear a few leagues down 

. September 19.^ — We eftected an unusually early start, but our 
men are paid " by the job." The right bank showed a mass of 
building material, argillaceous schistose sandstone in horizontal 

* Igarape is cleriyecl from yg, water — a Natiire-iiiade) cutting, That traveller 

jara, lord (i.e. a canoe), and ipe, where also remark^;, " Igarape is the Indian name 

(it goes). Of the Ypoeira feature I shall for a creek or ditch, which is filled with 

have more to say further do"^-n stream, ' back water ' from the river ; and tlie 

Avhen it becomes important. It is what term raranamiri(m) — literally, little river 

Lieut, Herndon calls Cauo on the Upper — is applied to a narroAv arm of the main 

Amazon, a natural arm of the main river, river running between tlie main bank and 

opposed to the " Furo " (small mouth) and an island near to it." 
the "furado," an artificial (but sometimes 


slabs; on the other side was ''As Lages," a clearing with 
bananas and oranges. Presently rose before us the Morro da 
Estrema, a terrapin-shaped buttress, disposed perpendicular to 
the stream, high above the floods, well wooded, and with good 
improvements below. The little village of the same name was at 
the bottom of a sack, formed by the river sweeping to a projec- 
tion of the opposite left bank. It is built upon an inner ledge of 
rising ground, and a few poor tiled huts clustered about the little 
church, N^ S''* do Carmo. 

At noon we halted for rest on the Pernam side, below the 
hamlet known as Serra da Povoacao.* The hills of that name 
form a meridional line of scattered lumps running ]3arallel with, 
and rarely three miles distant from, the stream. At the Serra or 
Serrote do Pe de Morro, they impinge upon the banks ; the little 
crescent is called b}^ the people Serra do Salitre, as it contains a 
saltpetre cave, and they declare it to be a north-eastern branch of 
the great Mata da Cordaf range. Opposite it the Barra do 
Pacuhyl forms the usual Cor 6a; a little below, on the left, we 
were shown a sand-bar, where a pleasure party of seven had come 
to grief some eight years ago. They were returning from a 
festival at Estrema, a little place of great debauchery; the " dug- 
out " struck a snag, and all w^re drowned. 

Passing the Pviacho da Fome, an ill-omened name now not 
uncommon, we anchored before sundown at the mouth of a San- 
gradouro, called the Cachoeirinha, from an adjoining village. § 
The clay wall of the river is here some thirty-two feet high, and 
the streamlet draining a bayou is about a mile in length. The 
Mandim fish had awaked, and grunted like a gurnard, and his 
hunger in the afternoon suggested to the pilots that he foresaw 
rain. Presently a cold east wind arose, the clouds gathered in 
heaps, and the horizon gleamed lurid with the reflection of field 
fires, easily to be mistaken for electrical ''weather lights." 
During the early night there were raw and violent gusts, and 
they presently induced a downfall whose steadiness j)romised per- 

* Serrote da Povoa9ao (M. Halfeld). Tlic Pacu, according to Castelnatl, is tte 

t Forest of the Cord, so called from its genus Characiniis of Artedi, and sub-genus 

long, narrow line. Curimata of Cuvier. The carp-like body 

X This stream runs almost parallel ^\•itll averages two to tlu-ee palms in length, and 

the Jequitahy, and drains the Montes is considered good eating ; the Pacu ver- 

Claros de Formigas. It has no mines, but melho licing held to be the best, 
the lands are good for pasture and agri- § There is a Cachoeira hamlet on the 

culture. right or opposite bank. 


This day showed us a more than usual quantity of animal life. 
A Jacare (cajanan) stared at us from the bank, Avitli the short 
round muzzle ]3rotruded in cmiosity, and another lay dead upon 
the stones. Jacus (Penelopes) chattered on the tree-tops, and 
afforded fine practice, but the bush was too thick for bagging, 
although we worked like men for the pot. A large otter plunged 
close to us, and at times we heard their whistling cries, which the 
pilots compared with the quarrelling and scolding of old fishwives, 
and the frequent ejaculation of '' diabo." There are two kinds, 
the Lontra, or common species (Lutra brasiliensis), and the 
Lontra grande, also known by its Tupy name, Ai'iranha. This 
animal is said to attain a length of six feet ; the colour is a lighter 
brown than in the smaller variety, and a white rmg encncles the 
neck. This species may have given rise to the Mae d'Agua, or 
water fauy ; it bites terribh', and dogs fear to attack it when it is 
making its escape over the rocks. The otter has an extensive 
range in the Brazil, it is frequent upon the streams of the sea- 
board, and if the ^'main d'oeuvre " were cheaper, its skins should 
reach the markets of Europe. The people of the Sao Francisco 
destroy it because it is so injurious to fish. It lives in families, 
tunnels into the river bank, and drives a breathing shaft (suspu'o) 
to the surface. The hunter stops both holes for a time, and then 
opens the entrance, the inmates rush out to take the au', and then 
they are killed ad libitum. Often, also, they are shot in the 
rivulets, and theii' bodies are found floating after some hours. 
The skins are of a comparatively high price, I bought none under 
2 $000. 

Sejjtemher 20. — Ember Day again. In the morning the men 
looked like turkey buzzards during a heavy shower : they were so 
benumbed that we had some difficulty in avoiding the snags and 
a dangerous sunken rock, said to be of silex.* After two homes' 
work we passed on the left bank the Paracatu de Seis dedos, 
which M. Gerber has located on the right. The pilots praised 
it for good water (rio bonito), but none could explain how it 
came to have six fingers. Near its mouth was a hamlet and 
clearing on the finely -wooded banks, and the creaking of the 
water-wheel spoke of molasses and rum. 

One league below that point we halted for breakfast on the left 

* The ijilots called it Pedra de fogo (of fire), or de Espingarda (of tlie gun), 
vo.l.. II. R 


bank of tlie great Paracatu River.* Its dexter jaw showed a point 
or shoal which drove it to the other side, the centre was garnished 
with dangerous chevaux de frise of embedded timber, and the 
course, bending like a Turkish scimitar, was painted with the 
red Pau Jahu. The sides, despite their height, are flooded in the 
wet season, and the sandy ground, mixed with humus and clay, 
slopes to bottoms where the trees show a water-mark of eight feet. 
There was little undergrowth, and the surface was strewed with 
dead leaves : it was cut in all directions by tracks and paths ; the 
cattle fled from us, and the ticks soon caused us to beat a retreat. 

Yesterday we had seen but a single bark creeping up the right 
bank. To-day we find two ajojos anchored at the mouth of the 
Paracatu. The owner, a stout, healthy man, whose appearance 
spoke well for the chmate, was taking provisions to CajDao 
Redondo, a '^ Garimpo," or small diamond- digging up-stream. 
In former days hundreds of arrobas of gold were sent from this 
valley ; he declared the bank-diggings to be now exhausted, but 
the bed to be still rich. M. Halfeld tells us that in his day the 
active and energetic riverines supplied flesh and cereals to the Lower 
8ao Francisco, even as far as Joazeiro, distant nearly 700 miles. 
Our informant stated that the staple industr}^ of the land was 
stock-breeding, although agriculture still thrives, and the fine 
Macape soil will produce any quantity of fruits, especially 
mangos. He ended by predicting that we should not reach 
Sao Romiio that night, as he himself would probably not have 
done. Of course we resolved to give him a practical dementi, 
and we now thought little of discouraging reports which had 
begun at Rio de Janeiro, and which will end there. 

After receiving this *' formidable tributary," the Sao Francisco 
widens and shallows. At 11 a.m. we passed on the left hand side 
a remarkable bluff, the Ribeira da Martmha, f which drives the 
course nearly due east. Before reaching it the land was low and 

*■ Dr. Couto and other old writers prefer normal breadth of the stream is 600 feet ; 

Piracatu (pja-a-catu), or good fish river, twenty-eight falls and rajjids encumber the 

opposed to Parahyba (Pira-ayba), the bad bed, and it is navigable, after a fashion, 

fish river. This imiportant stream drains nearlv 260 miles, to the Porto do Buriti. 
2° 30' of latitude by 3° of longitude. Its f Or Kibanceira (blufif) da Martinha 

northern branch, the Rio Preto, breaks (P. N. of a Moradora, the proprietrix). 

like most of the great western influents. The up-stream end is the Barreira da 

through the frontier chain of Goyaz, the Martinha proper ; the centre, Ribanceira 

Scrra do Tauatinga, which sets oflf the great de Amancio Josd ; and the eastern, or 

noi'thern versant, the Serra dos Pyrenees. down-stream, Ribanceira da Martinha. 
The mouth is about 1500 palms wide, the 


thickly-wooded like an old river bed, possibly that of the Para- 
catu.* The Barreira is the butt-end of a ridge cut off by the 
stream : the material is compact argile of many colours, white 
and brow^i, pmk and yellow, surfaced with thin humus ; it stands 
uj) stiffly to a height of some eighty feet, and at the base it has 
fallen into the usual slo23e. After a total length of some 440 yards 
it thms out into '' Canga," and terminates in woodland. Below 
it the bank became sandy, and showed the usual huts and improve- 
ments which argue the approach to a place of some importance. 

Beyond this Barreira the river is a mass of shoals, sand-banks, 
and sand-bars, whilst the stream varies from 0'87 to 1*28 miles 
per hour. The '^ remanso," or sluggish cm-rent, is dreaded by 
barquemen, and usually the General Trade forms a troublesome 
head wind. For some hom's the low dark clouds, dissolved by 
the cold breath of the north, which in this section promises a 
continuance of wet weather, f had indulged us "^ith a slow, steady 
rainfall : it began at 10 a.m., and lasted, ^\T.tli rare intervals, till 
4 P.M. An ajojo is certainly not a pleasant place dming the 
''Cashew Showers :" on the other hand the heavy discharge from 
above silenced the gale. 

At I'lo P.M. we grounded in the narrow channel of hard gravel 
between the left bank and the Ilha do Jatoba : the men were 
obliged to take foot,; i.e., to tumble in, and to shove us off. 
Here the total width of the river, including the island, is some 
1600 fathoms, and wonderful to relate, M. Halfeld proposes to 
block up the western channel ^ith " stakes and fascines." The 
Jatoba is the normal type, an elongated lozenge with the side 
angles shaved off, and outlines of sand in all du'ections, except 
where the bank is highest. At this season it is double : up- 
stream there is a small, well- wooded clay formation, which a long 
flat sand-bank connects with a similar and larger feature to the 
north-east, and the latter boasts of a few inhabitants. Further 
down there is a '' Pedra Preta," black blocks and green Ai'inda 
shrubs, as on the Lower Rio das Yelhas, which drives the stream 
almost at a right angle to the west. The next turn is to the 

* The pilots denied this, but their reason the Cashew nut), a term evidently derived 

was that they had never seen the stream from the Indians. They declare that the 

liere. wet season does not begin till K'ovember ; 

t The cause is the cold wind setting in biit this year they are manifestly out of 

after a few days of hot sun and still, damp their reckoning. 

air. The people call these showers, which J Tomar p^, to find deep water by 

are normal in August, Chuvas de Caju (of wading, 

R 2 


north, and presentl}^ after tliirty-six miles we reached our desti- 
nation for the night. 

Sao Romao, or to give it the name in full, " Villa Risonha de 
Santo Antonio da Manga e de Sao Romao," (the riant (?) town of 
St. Anthony of the Cattle-ford, and of Saint Romanus) — takes its 
nom de baj^teme from the holy martja', St. Romanus, who pre- 
sides over the 9th of August, and who is, I believe, generally 
ignored by the English faithful. Two Paulista explorers, the 
cousins Mathias Cardoso and Manoel Francisco de Toledo, 
having killed an Guvidor-judge, fled with their families and 
slaves to the Sertao do Sao Francisco. The date of their 
journey is not positive^ known, but it is supposed to have been 
between 1698 and 1707. They were driven upon the islet oppo- 
site the town, and having beaten off the Indians they settled here 
for a time, and then resumed their voyage, finally estabhshing 
themselves at Morrinhos and Salgado. Between 1712-13 the 
Bishop of Pernambuco, hearing that the Indians were of peculiar 
savagery, sent the Padre Antonio Mendes to catechize them. 
Before 1720 S. Romao was a Julgado belonging to the Comarca 
of Sahara. The district was presently subjected to the arron- 
dissement of Paracatu, a city then newly settled, and distant 200 
miles — only. On August 16, 1804, the Bishop D. Jose Joaquim 
da Cunha sent its first parish-priest (parocho), the Rev. FeH- 
cianno Jose de Oliveira. A chapel was dedicated to Santa Anna 
and Sao Luis at a place above the confluence of the Japore with 
the Sao Francisco ; this was removed to S. Romao on his own 
day and the invocation became Santo Antonio. The settlers 
throve ; Sao Romao, in 1804 a freguezia, rose in 1831 to the 
honours of townshij). 

I shall describe at some length this God-forgotten place, not 
for what it is, but for what it will be. Many travellers have men- 
tioned it,* and most of those who have visited it left with the 
worst impressions. The last was a naturalist sent down the 
river by Professor Agassiz ; ■ he got into trouble by carrying 
weapons. There is absolutely no reason why the settlement 
should be so miserable, the people so barbarous. A good build- 
ing-site is close at hand, the surrounding country is admirably 

St. Hil. (I. ii. 428) regi'etted " de as "le poteaii surmonte d'une sphere." 
n'avoir pu visiter la Justice de S. Rumao ; " The Monsenhor Pizarro had previously 
and he defines the symbol of a " justice " given a detailed account of it. 


fitted for agriculture, and the town is well placed for the carrjing 
trade. The da}- I hope is not distant when some wayfarer shall 
pass through Sao Romao and find my description of the Sao 
Romanenses utterly obsolete. 

Xear the town the stream, nearly 1300 yards broad, runs to 
the north, and hugs the left bank ; it is broken by the island of 
Sao Romao, about four miles long by 400 paces broad, densely 
wooded, uninhabited, and still private property. At the ''port" 
one canoe was drawn up, and about half a dozen were in the 
water ; the only " ship-yard " is on the top of the bank. Staked 
to the side was a fine barca flj^ing the Imperial flag. The crew, 
including the pilot, numbered seven, and the tonnage was 4000 to 
5000 ''Rapadm-as,"— 20,000 to 25,000 pounds. 

We swarmed up the steep bank, some thii'ty feet high and but- 
tery with rain ; the lower part was yellow cla}^ much mixed with 
silt and sand above. On the summit appeared a remarkable 
feature, a line of six enormous Gamelleii'a figs,* like those de- 
scribed upon the Tocantins River. At the point where the 
stream deflects a little to the east, a decayed stump shows that 
there was a seventh, and two of the giants are likely soon to be 
washed awa3\ The paii' to the south raise their majestic crowns 
of stiff and burnished ovoid leaves, and overhang the stream with 
an admirable umbrella of verdure. The trunks, instead of being 
as usual, low, thick columns, are bundles of compacted trees, 
five or six feet high, and of the horizontally projected branches, 
one, not the smallest, measured 100 feet. The birds had settled 
in colonies amongst the boughs, and but few epiphytes had 
sprung from the bark. In one of the two wliich front the 
landing-place time had dug a chamber iised as a dwelling-place ; 
the idea must have originated in Central Africa, where the 
bulbous Calabash acts alternately home and water-cistern. 
' Immediately beyond this ridge with its colossal growth, the 
land droops towards a bottom flooded during the rains, and 
thinly covered with bush ; it must be a hot-bed of miasma during 
the retreat of the waters, and the sun must raise it well to the 

* The Brazilians term the Gamelleira diseases. According to the System, the 

either Preta or Branca, chiefly from the acrid milk of the white fig ( Figueira branca, 

coloiu- of the bark. Koster (ii. 11) makes or Ficus doliaria) is an anthelmintic, but it 

the latter useless, and the former distil, adds that many other figs have the same 

after incision, a gummy juice, which is properties, 
taken internally for drojjsy and cutaneous 


level of the local face. The swamp is subtendecl by a rise cor- 
responding with the lay of the ridge running parallel with tlie 
stream, and facing the east. Here is the Kua do Alecrim, con- 
sisting of a dismantled hut on one side, faced by seven poor 
tenements, of which one, by affecting a square box as an upper 
story, ambitionizes the title of '' Sobradinho." Beyond this 
thoroughfare of flowery name, and lying side by side with it, was 
the Eua do Fogo, a higher and drier site. Here we comited 
fift^^-four tenements, mostly with roofs of coarse tiles and mud 
and wicker-work walls,* slightly washed with Tauatinga ; the 
large compounds are either railed or enclosed with j^ise, coped 
with thatch. The most pretentious show attempts at orna- 
mentation, white scrolls of plaster on azure ground, doors striped 
with blue, and windows with small lattices instead of the shutter 
or the cotton cloth. Amongst them were three Vendas, the 
main of whose occupation is to sell spirits ; and the blacksmith 
in his leathern apron, suggested the village Vulcan of Negroland. 
The wealthier houses had wooden stej^s leading to the raised 
floors, the poorer logs of wood above the level of the puddly 
thoroughfare, by courtesy called a street. To the south some of 
the tenements were propped up with stays and others were in 
ruins ; not a few had a closed room attached to the unwalled 
tile-roof which the Tupys called Copiar or Gupiara, and some- 
times Agua furtada. In this place the traveller is allowed to 
swing his hammock and to cook his meals. 

Going northwards we passed the Quartel, or barracks, hung 
inside with carbines, and tenanted by eight soldiers, who on paper 
appear as a battalion. These black-brown men in Kepis and hol- 
land blouses looked somewhat more surly, as in duty bound, than 
the rest of the citizens ; they eyed our patent leather waist belts 
curiously, but they did not interfere with us. Beyond the Quartel 
was the Lago da Cadea, a tiled roof and an open scantling, 
suggestively representing the future prison. Joao de Barro had 
derisively built his domicile upon the cross beams, and upon not 
a few of the wooden crosses profusely scattered about the settle- 

Beyond the northern end of the Rua do Fogo, and surromided 
by bush, was the old Rosario Church, definitively broken down. 

Tlie citizens declare that tliey liave no stone, wlicn the viver bed is a quarry. 


Turning to the left we ascended the Eua Direita, an embiyo 
thoroughfare which numbers twelve houses, including a farrier's. 
It rises gently from the river to a cemetery, denoted by a cross, 
from which half the instruments of the Passion had been 
abstracted. This village of the dead was fronted by a support of 
rough stones, while the rest was wholly unwalled ; the surface 
was cumbered with timber, and littered with graves which lacked 
monuments. In the centre of High Street was the square of the 
new Rosario, a w^hite -washed temple wdth three shutters, a very 
model of meanness. 

To the w^est of this Rosario is the Rua da Boa Vista, the 
aristocratic quarter, numbering thii'ty houses ; it commands a 
pretty view of the stream, the islet, the reaches above and below, 
and the low blue hills on the Bahian or Eastern side. I sent in a 
card to the Delegate, Sr. Joao Carlos Oliveii'a e Sa. He had 
probably never seen that civilised instrument, for he left us in the 
rain till a friend beckoned to us fi'om the window to come in, and 
after eyeing the pasteboard much as a crow inspects a dubious 
marrow-bone, he returned it to me with a little weary sigh. 
Unwilling to acce^^t defeat, I produced my Portaria or Imperial 
passport : he glanced over it and restored it in dead silence. My 
desii'e for information was lil^el}' to catch cold, when fortunately 
a decently dressed man walked in, and did not prove so chillingly 
micommunicative. I told my tale all down the river, where men 
agreed in giving a good name to the Delegate ; it is therefore onl}^ 
fair to suppose that he was exceptionally suffering under the 
influences of Sao Romao. 

Resuming our walk after this episode, to the south of the Boa 
Vista we foimd a second church, the N'* S"" da Abbadia ; it 
boasted of the usual white-washed and two-window^ed face, wearing 
a mutilated, noseless look. To the w^est or inland of this line 
are a few straggling huts, whose enclosures are hedged with the 
organ cactus. Here is the highest and healthiest ground, w^here 
the villa should be built; unfortunately it is too far fi'om the 
business quarter, the river side. Therefore, as in our West 
African " convict stations," men will not move ; they would 
rather see the floods walk into their Avindows. At times ex- 
ceptional inundations put them all to flight. In 1838 the water 
rose in places five feet above the floors, and in 1813 the lowest 
street was nine feet under w^ater. 


The trees scattered about the town show the excellence of the 
soil. The Almecega or Mastich grows to the largest size. No- 
where in the Brazil have I seen finer tamarinds, the natural 
corrective of hver complaints. The Imbuzeiro (Spondias 
tuberosa) is a magnificent rounded gro^vth ; the juice of this 
myrobalan, tempered with milk and sugar, makes the favourite 
"imbusada" of Pernambuco and Bahia. There is an abundance 
of fruit, limes and oranges, papaws and bananas. In the higher 
levels, where the thorny mimosa and acacia flourish, cotton grows 
taller than the houses, and in the lower parts sugar-cane flourishes. 
Behind and above the town the vegetation is that of the canipo, 
excellent for cattle-breeding. In the streets w^e saw^ a few small 
horses, the goats and poultry were tolerable, the pigs and sheep 
much wanted breeding. An idea of the popular apathy may be 
formed from the fact that whilst the river flowing before theii* 
doors produces the best of fish, and while salt may be brought 
from a few leagues, if indeed it cannot be washed from the ground, 
the to^vnspeople eat the hard, dry, and graveolent "bacalhao," or 
codfish, brought in driblets from Newfoundland. 

In 1822 Pizarro gave to S. Romao 200 houses and 1300 souls. 
Gardner, in 1840, reduced the number to ''not above 1000 
inhabitants." M. Halfeld (Belatorio, pp. 27—28) numbers 220 
houses and 800 souls. The Almanak (1864) assigns to the 
municipality 8676 inhabitants, 723 voters, and 17 electors. 
According to my informants, in 1867 the houses, or rather 
hovels, amounted to 200, and the tenants to 450. When Saint 
Hilaii-e wrote,* the ''village of S. Rumao " monopolised the 
carrying trade of salt between the river and Santa Lusia of 
Goyaz : it also exported a considerable number of hides. In 
those days it had its "richards," Major Theophilo de Salles 
Peixoto, the late Lieutenant- Colonel Ernesto NataUsta Amaral de 
Castro, the Capitao Jose Jacob da Silva Silveira, and others. 
A rehc of the good times is the vicar, Padre Antonio Ferreira de 
Caires : hearing that he was a " curioso," t rich in local informa- 
tion, I called upon him ; unfortunately he was at his Fazenda, 
and the Sacristan assured me that there was no such thing as 
a Livro do Tombo, or parish register. 

III. i. 216 and 359. liiuite." In the Brazil, "■ afficciouado " is 

+ St. Hil. (III. i. 104) remarks, ''le an amateur, and curioso also includes the 

mot curioso repond dans notre langue, a non-i)rofessional expert, 
celui d'amateur ; mais il a un sens moins 


About ten years ago the diamond- diggings at Santafe * and on 
the Paracatu Eiver have caused a small exodus, hence partly the 
falling off of the census, and the exceptional nimiber of old men, 
women and children. The fevers have greatly increased; we 
could read ague legibly wi'itten in the yellow skins, emaciated 
frames, and Hstless countenances of the people who suffer terribly 
dming the retreat of the waters between May and July. The 
fomentors are, as usual, poor diet, excess in drink and debauchery, 
late hom's and extreme filth, not of person, but of habitation. In 
this point they seem to have borrowed from the indigenes of the 
land, who bathed several times dm-mg the day, but allowed them- 
selves to be Uttered out of theii' ''carbets" (wigwams) by moun- 
tainous collections of offal. 

The Sao Eomanenses did not affect me pleasantly. I did not 
see a single white skin amongst them; they were a "regular 
ranch" of bodes t andcabras,| caboclos and negros. The lower 
orders — if there be any in this land of perfect equality, practical 
as well as theoretical — were in rags ; the wealthier were dressed 
in Em'opean style, ''boiled" shirts and velvet waistcoats, but 
theii' lank hau' and flat faces recalled the original ''Indian." 
They are devout, as the wooden crosses of squared scantling 
affixed to the walls show : scant of civility, they have barely 
energy enough to gather in groui)s at the doors and windows, the 
men to j^rospect, the women to giggle at the i)assing stranger. 
Some of the older blacks plied the primitive spinning wheel, but 
the hammock, despite the raw chilly weather, was in more general 

Sao Romao, I have said, is well situated for trade. A good 
road, some sixty leagues long, rmis up the valley of the Rio Preto, 
the northern branch of the Paracatu. A little bevond the settle- 

* This place was described to me as a The wild meu, I have said, gave the 

little village, with the nidiments of a name macaco da terra ("country monkeys") 

chvu-ch in the municipality of S. Romao. to the African. Yet travellers have stated 

+ In the Brazil, " bode," or he-goat, is a that they were fond of si;ch monkey's 

slang term for a mulatto. meat, and all agree that their Avomen had 

X St. Hil. (III. ii. 272) makes the " un gout tres-vif pour les negnres. " Some 

Cabra (she-goat) a mixed breed between have advised, by way of saving the "Red 

the Red ]\Ian and the ?»Iulatto, and sjTiony- Man," to mix his blood with the black, 

mous with the Pemvian "Chino." Here This is indeed unanthropological. There 

it is applied as a general term to those who is no need to preserve a savage and inferior 

are neither black nor white ; addressed to race, when its lands are wanted by a higher 

a man, it is grossly insulting, but I have development ; and, in this case, the artifi- 

heai'd a boatman facetiously apply it to cial would be worse than either of the 

himself. natural races. 



[chap. xyi. 

ment, called Os Arrepenclidos, it crosses the Serra of Goyaz, 
which here offers no difficulties. Thence it bends north to the 
old Villa dos Couros, now Villa Formosa da Imperatriz. Here 
there is communication with the great Tocantins tributary of the 
Amazons, via the Eio das Almas, the Corumba,* and the Eio 
Paranan, which bears canoes. 

At night-fall we returned to the Brig Eliza, lighted the fire, 
drew down the awning, and kept out as much of the drifting rain 
and cold shifting wind as possible. It was not easy to sleep for 
the Babel of sounds : here the dark hours are apparently the 

When man must drink and woman must scold. 

The Samba and Pagode seemed to rage in concert with the 
elements, the twanging of instruments and the harsh voices 
screaming a truly African chaunt, suggested an orgie at Unyan- 
guruw^w^e. Evidently much reform is here wanted, and it will 
come in the form of a steamer. 

* Men of information at Jauuaria, as 
well as Sao Romao, mentioned tlie Corum- 
ba stream and village. I hope that they 
have not confoimded it with another Co- 
iTimba, the great northern influent of the 
Southern Parnahyba, or Pai-anahyba. 
Usually, traders embark at the Villa das 
Flores, or the Paranan, or Parana (St. Hil. , 
Parannan), the eastern head Avater of the 
Tocantins. Castelnau (ii. 106) declares, 

' ' Le Parana pent etre descendu en canot 
jusqu'au Para." My informants described 
the river as very "bravo" above S. Joao 
da Palma, at the junction of the Araguaya, 
or great western fork, and some have spent 
six months in ascending it. Hence they 
say goods worth 0$700 at Para on the sea- 
board, sell at the Villa das Flores for 
5 $000, and a bottle of wine bought for 
01500 fetches 4 $000. 



Second Travessia, 26^ Leagues. 

steam-boat islands. — the uracttia rivee. — the village as pedras 
dos angicos. — quixaba-tree3. — the rio paedo. — approach to the 
city of jaxuaria. — ^^^egetatiox at village of n-*- s^ da conceigao 
das pedras de maria da cruz. — reach the porto do brejo do 
salgado. — the present city of januaria. — its history and present 
state : danger of being swept away. — reception. — petty larceny. 
— civility of sr. manoel caetano de souza silva. — the pequizeiro. — 
missionaries and missioners. — walk to the brejo do salgado. — its 
actual state. — romantic legend of the people's descent. 

outro se ensTossa 

De Scto Francisco, com que o mar se adoca. 


Satnnlay, Septemher 21, 1867. — The ceaseless drencliing rain 
reduced the men to a manner of torpid hyhernating state. After 
a start under difficulties we threaded the long line of shoals and 
islets. In some places as many as six sand-bars v\^ere in sight ; 
all were of finely sifted material without the gravel of the Coroas 
in the Rio das Yelhas. Passing the Roca do Porto Alegre and 
other clearmgs* we came to the first of many features Avhich will 
last till we reach Remanso. It is a long, narrow bank of stiff 
sand, sharp fore and aft, and shaped like a river steamer in the 
United States ; m places bushes formed the x^aflt'-le-hoxes, and 
strata the lines of cauUdng. We called them Steamboat Islands. 
The vegetation was generally of yeUow-green, showing want of 
fat humus. 

A head wind, driving misty blue clouds, drove us to the right 

* ]\I. Halfekl calls this pretty spot M-as the Barra do Braudao, a long, lovv- 

''Povaodo," or Village do Poilo Alegre. clearing ou the right. The bank also shows 

His villages are mostly tenned by the pilots improvement, bnt it must be extensively 

"fazendas" here, meaning tracts cidti- innn dated, 
vated by a number of settlers. The next 

252 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. xvii. 

bank. Tlie mercuiy showed 71° F., but we trembled with cold ; 
such is the effect of air in motion, which seems to desjnse a sun 
nearly overhead. Furhng the awning we made a good "lick" to 
the entrance of the great Uracuia stream. * The right bank was 
wooded with a truly magnificent vegetation ; it showed for the 
first time the Carahyba de flor roxa, a tall tree with lilac-coloured 
blossoms, which will presently become common, and here we 
observed that every great western influent brings down with its 
waters a new growth. The mouth of the Uracuia is about 315 
feet broad, and behind tlie woodland the low banlc of yellow clay 
bears only thicket. 

A white-washed house, now a novelty, appeared on the Bahian 
side, and presently we took the left of the "Illia do Afunda," 
which is interpreted to mean that the water is deep ; its material 
is a pure yellow and easily melted sand. The upper part of the 
islet is well clad with various growths. We then ran in mid 
stream past the second Afunda, f and, after eleven hours of hard 
and comfortless, dull and eventless work, we came to anchor at a 
praia on the left bank. 

Septemher 22. — The north wind which had raged all night 
blew itself out about dawn, and we set out with alacrity. The 
banks were dead flats, in places splendid with tall sugar-cane and 
tree-cotton, but generally showing second growth where magni- 
ficent forests had been. Passing on the left the little Acary 
tributary, I we found another high white bluff' about a mile long. 

Also written Aracuia, wliicli means, Lama, and A. de Espinho. It is the 
say the peoi^le, "fartura," or plenty, Juacana which Marcgref saw at Pernam- 
allnding to the fertility of its upper banks. buco and the Cachimbo, or Cachimbao, of 
It drains the southern slopes of the Chapa- Ilheos. A species is probably the Acara 
dao (big plateau) do Uracuia, and is bandeira (IMesonanta insignis, Gunther) of 
divided from the Paracatu Valley by the which Mr. Bates (ii. 140) gives an illus- 
Serra do Rio Preto. Its area of drainage tration. It grunts like the Mandim, and 
is latitudinally 2°, and longitudinally, the pilots say that when eating the mud 
1 30 . The stream, though broken by and weeds from the canoe-bottom it rubs 
many rapids, is navigable for rafts and its bluff head against the wood, and pro- 
canoes as far as Campo Grande, 102 miles duces the peculiar sound. They declare 
from the mouth. that it lives in holes along the banks ; 

t ]\I. Halfeld calls this Ilha das Cara- many deem it poisonous, and it is generally 

hibas, and elsewhere sijells the word thrown away on account of the trouble of 

Caraibas. cooking it. Both the black and the white 

+ According to the pilots, the true Acary kinds have hard, spiny skins, with longi- 

is further down-stream. tudinal lines of points, highly dangerous 

The name of this fish (a loricaria of many dorsal fins, and hooks above the caudal 

species) is also Avi-itten Acari and Acarehy. fins. Another well-known loricated and 

The Tupy name was Acara, with the ter- ''grunting" fish is the "Cascudo," which 

mmations, -apua, -assu, -tinga, and abounds in the rivers of the interior. The 

-peixuna. In this river we find the A. people praise it, but I found the white 

de Pedra, A. do Casca (or Casci-do), A. de meat soft, tasteless, and full of thorns. 


and divided into two sections, the Barreira do Indio (do Honorio, 
M. Halfeld), and the Barreii'a Alta. Here we remarked the 
abundance of the Angico Preto acacia, on this part of the stream 
an ugly tufted tree ; its timber is too dry for use, but the gum is 
given to consumptive patients ; the bark abounds in tannin, and 
the ashes in potash. 

About noon, entering S. Lat. 16^, we came to a new featui'e, 
"as Pedras" (dos Angicos), and we landed on the right bank to 
insj)ect it. Here a wall some forty-two feet i^rojects from a 
shallow sag, fronts to west and drives the river to the north-west ; 
it runs nearly a mile down-stream, and is found in a hollow, to 
the north-east of the httle village. The outcrop is evidently the 
base of a bulge of ground observed on the east. The floor near 
the water was a hard bluish limestone, effervescing kindly under 
muriatic acid ; above it was a stratum of laminated, friable clay- 
shale, capped by a bluer calcaire, with dislocations, broken blocks 
and horizontal bands, varying in thickness from three inches 
to three and a half feet. Water drops appeared upon the 
exposed slabs on the summit, which is always six feet above 
water, and it was revetted in parts with iron cla}^, whilst to one 
block is attached a small portion of quartz conglomerate. This 
is one of the many places which will supply admirable hydi'aulic 

The bank and the village showed a scatter of noble Quixabeira 
trees, huge bouquets of verdure, whose aromatic flowers and 
2)erfumed shade attracted hosts of bees.* The little chapel of 
Sao Jose, the brago of the place, is about nine feet above the 
floods, and yet boasts of a stone foundation. AValking up the 
sandy street, perpendicular to the stream and sliowmg traces of 
pavement and bottom, we found the usual hollow parallel with 
the ridge and periodically under water. In the loose free soil, 
cotton, essentially a sun-plant, grows neglected, fifteen feet high, 
and the castor shrub twenty. In ''AVater-Street," whose houses 
and ranches were superior to those of Sao Romao, appeared three 
Yendas, with men sitting outside the counters, or using them as 
card-tables. Two shoe-makers and a dry-goods store seemed 

* Also written Quicliabeira, one of tlie affords a fine shelter for cattle. The 

Sapotaceffi, a tree which covers large tracts Sj^stem mentions the Quijaba and the 

on the Rio de Sao Francisco, above and Catinga branca (here called Catinga do 

below the Great Rapids. It resembles the Porco), as legnminosre abundant in stryph- 

Zizyphns, produces an edible berry, and num. 

254 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL, [chap. xvii. 

to be doing a thriving business. South of the village were three 
canoes selling fine water-melons. Under an old angico hung with 
dark moss stood the frame-work of a barca, very solidly built of 
cedar.* On the northern waterside washerwomen were plj^ing 
their trade, whilst their bantlings swam about, or plaj^ed on carts 
with wheels of one piece some eighteen inches high. Horses and 
mules were restmg after being ferried across the river, and a 
little caravan appeared upon the opposite bank. This at once 
explained the prosperity and the civility of the place. The Dele- 
gado had at once sent to procure lodgings for us. It com- 
municates with the Acary Pdver, where, at the distance of ten 
leagues from the mouth, are diamond diggings. Sao Jose das 
Pedras dos Angicos now numbers ninety-five houses and a popu- 
lation of 500 souls ; we left it convinced that it has good things 
in store for it. 

Resuming our way in an exceedingly hot sun, we presently 
passed on the left the Barra do Acar}-, t which breaks its way 
through a sandy Coroa. Below the mouth are three '' steamboat 
islets" of the same name, and the Ilha do Barro Alto, a wooded 
holm. Then came the mouth of the Pdo Pardo X about 140 feet 
broad ; here began the magnificent bosquets (capoes) of cedar, 
vinhatico and balsamo (a myrospermum) found in every river and 
rill. Opposite this i^oint we nighted. The air had become 
''muggy," damp and tropical, like Western India, and, for the 
first time after leaving Pdo de Janeiro, Ave began to disuse the 
blanket. I need hardly say that we recalled to mind with regret 
the charming accidents of the Old Squaws' Stream ; the clear 
limpid air rich in oxygen, the splendid forest scenery of the 
wild banks, the music of birds and beasts, even the song of the 
rapid and the fall, and the cheerfulness of nature in general. 

Septemhcr 23. — After an hour's paddling appeared the Barro 
Alto, a high bank of white clay on the right side where the bed 
is embayed. We landed a little below it, at the mouth of a 
Corrego known as the Braima ; it puts forth an under water ridge, 
extending from south-west to north-east, and ending in what the 

* The small 31- barcas here cost 200 $000 ; with grass and low trees, and on the oppo- 

tliose of moderate size, 500 $000 ; and the site side the vegetation rolls almost to the 

largest (45 x 14 feet), 1:600 $000. water's edge. 

t This Acary stream is not mentioned l)y J The Rio Pardo drains the Southern 

M. Halfeld, nor is it in M. Gerber's map. slopes of the Chapadao de Santa Maria. 

The mouth is about 150 feet broad ; the Its length is 1° 30', but it is navigable for 

high left bank of yellow clay is garnished canoes only twelve leagues. 


crew called a ^'batida," a low sand-bank flaked with mud. Here 
we found the true diamantine '^forma^ao," the Cattivo, the Siri- 
coria, in fact all the symptoms, but not the gem. These evidences 
appear at scattered intervals ; the people <leclare them to be 
apparently arbitrary, that is to say, the source from wliich the}' 
come has not been investigated. 

Beyond this point the stream showed on the left heaps of stone ; 
on the right, thrown out in a relief of bare or bluiTed line agauist 
the blue sky, rose the Serra do Brejo,* which from this point 
appeared a slope, a broken saddle-back and a liunp swelling 
above the trees and sands. To starboard we passed the Pdacho 
do Peixe, near whose mouth is the small Fazenda of a German 
settler. Doctor Otto Karl Willielm Wageman ; fm'ther down is the 
Biacho dos Pandeiros, t whose winding course admits canoes for 
some five leagues ; nearly opposite it the Biacho do Mangah}'. 
The northern Hmit of the S. Bomao municipality showed at the 
mouth a clump of magnificent trees, and, a little below, a large 
bed of Cascalho. In fi'ont rose the remarkable table-mountain 
known as the Itabirassaba, corrupted to Piassaba ; I the word is 
translated "Monte de Fogo." We are evidently approaching an 
important place ; the primitive vegetation disai^pears, nature 
begins to look cbilled and disciplined, there are kihis, the huts 
are whitewashed and tiled, and the people offer fish for sale. 

After a few features of no great importance, § we reached a 
place which we had long seen in the shape of a lumpy line on the 
right bank, and we ascended a flight of steps cut out by the 
retii'ing waters. Here there is a bed of the finest white limestone 
some 10 feet thick. The i^lace is known as N^ S^ da Conceicao 
das Pedras de Maria da Cruz, and the first edition of the httle 
chapel was built about 1725 by the PauUsta Miguel Domingos, 
after the defeat at the Bio das Mortes m 1708. The mound that 

* Brejo do Salgaclo, which we shall § At noou we passed three islets near 

presently ^asit, the Pernani. bank, and an h.our afterwards 

+ The Pandeii-o is a gipsy kind of instm- v^e saw the Ilha das Pedi-as, a sandy and 

ment — a bow and calabash, derived from shrubby formation, with small clearings 

Africa. The wild men, as might be ex- and barking dogs. On the bank opposite 

pected, greatly enjoyed its music ; hence to it were ledges of Canga ; beyond it 

the name has been given to many places in appeared, upon a base of light-coloured 

the backwoods. Near this Pandeiros a stiff clay, a wall of fenniginoiis argile, 

man lately died said to be 107 years old. black and red, pudding'd with pebbles, 

+ The head man declared, and with varpng in thickness from one to nine feet, 

truth, that this saddle-back was the Seri-a and thinning off from north to south, 
do Brejo to the north-east of the former. 

256 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap, xvii, 

supports it had an old and remarkably good " ladrillio," or tile 
pavement, which commands a magnificent view. The river, 
broken b}' sand-bar and island, sweeps nobly from south-west 
to west, and at this point trends nearly due north. The wavy 
bank in front is clothed with immense trees, and about eight 
miles distant the western horizon is closed by the quaint-shaped 
Itabirassaba, towering high above its chain. 

The population of the little hamlet was scattered about in low 
huts of wattle and dab, thatched or tiled. Some of the women 
working the old pillow-lace were hardly clad with decency, and on 
the bank was a j^ellow girl with unveiled bosom, as if she had 
been in the Bight of Biafra. All, however, are more or less 
tinged, and here, as elsewhere, the brow^n buff simulates dress. 
Goats wandered about the bush, and seemed to enjoy the shiny, 
succulent leaves of the gigantic croton shrub, which grows to an 
abnormal size. This Jatropha Curcas* of many names supplied 
the physic nut for the Lisbon lamps, and thus for a time pre- 
served certain of the Cape Yerde Islands from starvation. It has 
an extensive range. I have seen it at altitudes between the sea- 
board and 3000 feet. The Guinea negroes administer with 
excellent effect the green seeds together with the pulp ; the dose 
is, I believe, a quarter of the nut boiled in water, which is drunk, t 
Half-dram doses used to be given in the Brazil, but the "physic- 
nut " is now neglected, as it is a dangerous, and has proved a 
fatal, drastic. As the rains begin, everpvhere sprouts a pretty 
pink flo'^er somewhat like a primrose, solitary, and capping a 
thin an "" 3 stalk about one foot high ; the people call it 

*' Cebo] ," or the poison-onion, and declare that cattle will 

not tor On the higher banks, where the floods do not 

extend, ^. the Solanaceous Jua, still bearing the last year's 
blackened berries ; the organ cactus ; the Pitombeira (Sapindus 
edulis), a large tree with an edible fruit; the Pingui, here called 
Imbaru, and the shady Aroeira de Minas, also known as Capicurii. 
The latter resembles the Melia Azadirachta of Hindostan, but 
the leaves are not bitter. 

* Here it is popularly kno^v^l as vellers— namely, not to eat iinknOAvn fruits 

" pinlieiro de purga," or " i>inliao do which birds refuse. 

Paraguay." The Tupy dictionaries give f In Africa the unripe pulp, didy pre- 

" Mandiibi-guagu " (the great ground-nut, pared, is, I believe, also taken as a strong 

or Arachis), a mixture of African and medicine, 

American terms. Labat has " Medicinier" J In other parts cattle are, they say, 

or " pignon d'Tnde," and when describing poisoned by it. 
its eflects, he ofters sensible advice to tra- 


As we advanced, the long reach, running nearly due north, bent to 
the north-east and showed in the far distance a whitewashed chapel 
and three large double-storied houses. On the left was the Ilha 
do Barro Alto, a long " steamboat island." We were obliged to 
round the large, flat sand-bars before we could make the Porto do 
Brejo do Salgado, the channel above the town not admitting even 
our raft. This is the most important place on the Upper Eio de 
Sao Francisco, and its only rival is Joazeii'o, distant 190 leagues 
down-stream. The site is a dead flat on the left bank, distant 
fom' to five miles from the Serra do Brejo, a broken line to the 
north-west and north. A certain Maciel, of whom more pre- 
sently, here built a chapel of brick and lime, the people assembled 
round it, and the Bishop of Pernambuco sent a curate, the Padre 
Custodio Yieu-a Leite. The principal settlement however was 
inland, at the base of the hills, and this povoacao or hamlet on the 
river side took the name of Port of the Salt Swamp, abbreviated 
to " O Salgado," "the Salted," and this the people insist upon 
retainmg. Of com'se the two settlements were rivals and enemies. 
In 1833 the Port became the "Villa da Januaria," chiistened 
after the sister of the reigning Emperor; in 1837 the honoui* was 
transferred to the Brejo inland ; in 1846 it was re-transferred to 
the Port; in 1849 it again moved to the Brejo; and finally, in 
1853, it settled upon the Stream.* The water side objects to the 
hill side that it is too far from the seat of trade ; the hill side 
retorts that at least it is in no danger of seeing even its samts 
swept into the river. The municipahty, which is large, and con- 
tains a considerable extent of uncultivated land, numbers five 
districts, namely, the City, the Brejo, Mocambo,f Morrinhos, Sao 
Joao da Missao, and Japore, the latter distant about 20 leagues. 

We had to fight hard against the strong cm-rent, which now 
shows signs of incipient flooding. We passed the tall sobrado of 
the Capitao Jose Eleutherio da Souza, fronted by a dozen stunted 
and wind- wrung palms, and a slope of Capim ussu (the big 
grass) stretching doAvn to the stream. The herbage is of a 
metallic green, lil^e young Paddy. It is not destroyed by the 

* According to the Almanak, the parish suggests colonisation. Here the best land 

was created by Royal resolution of Jamiaiy is worth at most 500 $000 per league, not, 

2, 1811, and the Port was made the Chef- however, a square league, which would be 

lieu by Pro^ancial Law K"o. 288 of ]\Iarch nine geographical miles, but half a league 

12, 1816. each way. In these matters there is no 

+ ]\Iuch of the land in the J\Iocambo has regulation, and each man adopts his oyro. 

no i^roprietor, and its admii'able fertility system. 


258 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. xvii. 

inundations, and cattle will eat it. The Port is formed at this 
season by two sand-bars fronting the left bank. It has been pro- 
loosed to remove them, but the best authorities are agreed that 
they defend the side, to which a strong flood swings during the 
rains. The river is now upwards of 3000 feet in breadth, and 
the weight of water does far more damage than the superficial 
washing. It will not be easy to save the place ; about twenty 
3^ears ago half of the Rua do Commercio, the " w^ater street," 
became the stream-bed. A few stakes have been planted to act 
as grains, and a stockade of tree trunks defends the sloping bank 
of sandy clay, perilously near whose edge runs a line of low, 
whitewashed, and red-tiled tenements. The principal danger is 
above the city, where a small channel admits a vast influx of 
flood water. Here it would be easy to throw up one of those 
levees with which we d^^ked the Indus near Hyderabad.* 

We found in port a number of canoes and eight barcas made 
fast to the usual poles. The praia, as the bank is here called, 
at once recalled to mind the African market, and the monotonous 
chaunt of the negroes measuring beans did not diminish the 
resemblance to the scenes of distant Zanzibar. "Women, now 
far more numerous than men, washed at the water-side, or cai'ried 
their pots to and fro ; the hojs, more than half-nude, squatted 
on the s^nd-bars on tree trunks, or in their dug-outs, bobbing for 
daily bread. The dark boatmen, clad in the sleeveless waistcoat 
(Jale or Camisola), and the cotton-kilt (Sayote) of the Guinea 
Coast, stroll about or lie stretched upon the slopes playing with 
the splendid and majestic Araras,f which they have brought 
from down-stream, and whose plumes glittered in the sunshine. 
On the more level ground were planted seven shed huts of poles, 
mats, and hides. Here the merchant who disdains to hire a 
house exchanges his salt and cloth for provisions and supplies. 

_ * In making these levees, it is well to Aranma (Ararauna) and tlie Arary, also 

dig a trench, and carefully to remove tree termed Caninde, or Arara Azul. The 

roots, and everything that can assist per- former (Psittacns hyacinthinns), as its name 

eolation. The dyke should have a base denotes, a black, or rather a dark-purple 

of 3 : 1. bird, of smaller size than usual ; it flies in 

+ Ara, I have remarked, is a parroquet, pairs high, with loud screams, like the 

or parrot ; the augmentation ara -ara con- parroquet. The Arary (Psittacus Ararauna) 

tracted to arara in the large psittacus. It is the well-kno^^ii and magnificent bird, 

is regi-ettable that we have not adopted with a coat of the brightest blue, and a 

this pretty onomatopceia, instead of the golden waistcoat. St. Hil. (I. ii. 376) 

gi'otesque half-bred Spanish macaw, and notices the ei'ror of Marcgraf, who gave the 

\nilgai-ized the scientific " Araina^. " name Ararauna, which means black or 

The common wild varieties here are the dark macaw, to the -wTong bird. 


When we had slipped into place I sent up my card and intro- 
ductions to Lieutenant-Colonel Manoel Caetano de Souza Silva. 
Januaria showed her civiUsation by crowding to inspect us with 
extreme avidity. A very drunken j^outh, with teeth chipped 
into feline shape — here fashionable — addressed Agostinho as 
"moleque" — small slave bo}^ — very offensive to a big slave bo}-, 
and a ''row" of the mildest natm^e ensued. Another stole an 
" Engineer's Pocket-book," and offered it for sale to a Portuguese, 
v\dio at once returned it to us. The police authorities took no 
notice of the theft, perhaps because the robber was half silly with 
liquor, and consoled us with the intelligence that we might expect 
to be extensively plundered down-stream. This, however, was 
not the case ; Januaria was the only place where anything of the 
kind was attempted. 

"VVe were soon rescued from the situation b}^ Sr. Manoel 
Caetano, who, accompanied by some friends, invited us to inspect 
the city. I greatly enjoyed the view from the bank summit. To 
the west the purplmg hills were faint as clouds floating upon a sea 
of ruddy haze, the last effort of day. In front lay the Eiver 
Valley, at least twelve miles broad, and suggesting a vast expanse 
of water during the floods. About two leagues distant rose the 
Morro do Cliapeo, curiously shaped like a Pluygian cap ; it is an 
outher of a long broken wall extending from north-east to south- 
w^est as far as we can see. This Serra dos Geraes de Sao Felipe 
is exceptionall}^ rich, and supplies the river with lard, tobacco, and 
maize-flour. Its remarkable pomts are the Urubu peak, from 
this point a regular p}Tamid, the Serra das Figuras, the table- 
shaped Morro da Boa Vista, and the three round heads known as 
the Tres Irmaos. 

The N'* S^ das Dores is rather a chapel than a church, and at 
times, they say, fish have been caught in it ; the building is 
' fronted by a tall cross, enclosed in a dwarf square of short wall. 
At the other end of the settlement is a N^ S^ do Rosario blown 
down by the wind, and still unrepaii'ed. The streets are floored 
with sand, and in places there are strips of trottoii', slabs of the 
fine blue limestone from the Pedi-as dos Angicos. Trees requii-e 
a soil less lean; each house has its "compound," walled or 
staked round, but the largest growth is the papaw, and a palm 
here called the " Garii'oba ; " * it is a tall, dull-brown stick bear- 

■^' Or Guariroba (^Cocos oleracea, i\Iart. ), a palm commonly found in the stunted 
growths of the Sertao. 

S 2 

260 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. xvii. 

ing small ragged fronds and a raceme of edible fruit about the 
size of an egg. The thoroughfares are straight, but as usual too 
narrow; their names are carefully inscribed upon the corners, 
showing that the Camara does its duty, and the tenements are 
numbered. The Pra^a das Dores contains the jail, with barred 
'v\andows, where guards and sentinels loll and loaf, and near it 
the humble Guildhall. A hospital is much wanted ; we met in 
the streets many cripples. 

The total of houses may be upwards of 700, of which at least a 
fifth are Vendas. In 1860, the famine-year of Bahia, the popu- 
lation numbered 6000 souls ; five years ago it declined to 4000, 
and now it may be 5000, slaves included. For some time past 
the serviles have been traded off to Rio de Janeiro, and, only 
lately, thh-ty head were sent do^vai country. The city is sup- 
ported b}" brokerage and the carrying trade. The Quattro-Maos* 
of the backwoods bring in a very little cotton, a quantity of sugar 
and rum, excellent tobacco and provisions, especially hill-rice 
and manioc, which flourish on the table-land beyond the riverine 
valley. Fine canoes of the best Vinhatico and Tamboril,f forty 
feet long here, cost 100 $000, and are sent down-stream, where 
large trunks are rare. The imports are chiefly via Joazeiro, 
which the people place at a distance of 220 to 240, instead of 190 
leagues ; they are chiefly dry goods and salt. Those who have 
not visited the inner Brazil will hardly imagine how necessary to 
prosperity is this condiment. It must be given to all domestic 
animals, cattle, mules, and pigs; they convert into '^ licks" every 
place likely to sux)ply the want, and even crunch bones to find it. 
Without it they languish and die ; in fact, here the desert may 
be defined as a place where salt is not. A popular succedaneum 
is oil and gunpowder, and even this is found better than nothing. 
In 1852 the mule load of eight arrobas from Eio de Janeiro (200 
leagues) + via Diamantina, paid 45 $ 000 ; it has now risen to 
15^000 or 163 000 per arroba, nearly three times the price. 
Consequently the capital sends only "notions" and "objects of 
luxury." Bahia (186 leagues) adds hides and salt, potter}^, 
ammunition, and ii'on-ware ; the price of conveyance varies from 
12 $000 to 143000 per thirty-two pounds. Goyaz, like the 

* Quadnimana : here tlie word is used Sertanejos. 
in tlie sense of Caipira, country bumpkin. t The distances are those given to me 

+ _A hxrge leguminous tree. St. Hil. by my friends at Januaria. Tliey made 

(T. ii. 331) writes the word "tamburi," Diamantina 70 leagues distant, and Leu^oes 

according to the pronunciation of the 70 to 80. 


Geraes * lands on both sides of the river, supplies stock and 
provisions, " doces," cheese, and a little coffee and cotton ; some 
of them produce a small quantity of wheat. ''Colossal fortunes," 
says the Almanak, " are rare," but there are men worth upwards 
of £4000, and money here breeds safely 2-1: — 36 per cent, per 

Our host was a distinguished " Liberal," ^vho prefers politics to 
trade or farmmg ; he is made well known throughout the country 
by a greater generosit}^ tlian is usual. He offered us the novel- 
ties of absinthe and cognac, he compelled us to sup with him, 
and he placed his house at om' disposal. For liberty's sake I 
preferred the raft, also to escape from the screams of the children, 
wliich, throughout the Brazil, fonn the terribly persistent music 
of the home. The mothers, I i^resume, physically enjoy being 
noisy by proxy, the fathers do not object, and thus the musicians 
are never punished. Indeed you are considered a " brute " if 
you object to losing a night's rest by a performance, which could 
be settled in a second. The onl}' place where the shriek of 
woman and the scream of babe are silent is, I believe, the Island 
of Madeu'a. 

Sr. Manoel Caetano gave an invitation to visit him at his 
fazenda, where he intended to sleep, and promised to send animals 
at daybreak on the morrow, but apparently the light at Januaria 
dawns after 9 a.m. AVe, therefore, set out on foot under guid- 
ance of Sr. Candido Jose de Senna, ' ex-Professor of First 
Letters. The path led to the north across an inundated flat, 
which appears lilvely to disappear, and a line of mist showed the 
Corrego Secco, that requires the levee. Dming the rains it is a 
flood, now it retams water-pits (pocoes) frequented by washer- 
women. Ahead, and a little to the left, lay the table mountain, 
up which men have ridden ; at its foot is the fazenda of the 
Capitao Bertoldo Jose Pimenta, and near the summit, they say, 
is a natural well. 

After walkmg a mile we made rising ground, and exchanged 
white sand for ruddy soil rich with himius. Here even the floods 
of 1792-93, wliich rose thii'ty-eight and a half feet above the mean 
level of the stream, did not extend. In 1813 there was another 
inmidation, when a Surubim was caught in the church, followed 

* In these parts the Greraes are generally named after their streams; e.g., Geraes 
das Palmeiras, do Borachudo, &c. 

262 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. xvii. 

by a tliii'd in 1855. In 1857 the citizens took refuge here, and 
spent several days in picnics and jollit3\ It is called the Piqui- 
zeiro,* from the abundance in former times of the wild Caryocar 
tree, and it will probably become the left bank of the Bio de Sao 
Francisco. Evidentl}^ this is, even now, the fittest place for the 
settlement, which a line of wooden rails would easily connect 
with the Port ; the aii' is cooler and healthier, water abounds, 
there is plenty of building-ground, and the soil behind it is loose 
and red, excellently adapted for cotton and sugar. 

A scatter of huts is sprmging up around the Piquizeiro, where 
a new cemetery has been laid out. Our host dug a leat to 
supply the builders with water, and the place is strewed with 
adobes and fine slabs of blue limestone. A tall cross of cedar 
bears a little cross and the legend " Salus. P. E. G. C. 1867." 
This was lately set up by Fr. Eeginaldo Goncalvez da Costa, a 
vicar detached on a missionary campaign from his cure near 
Montes Claros b}'' the Bishop of Diamantina. He collected a 
copper from the poor and a testoon from the rich. Some 6000 
souls, mostly feminine, strewed the plain as he doled out the 
Bread of Life, and the fireworks which ended the day are de- 
scribed as having the efi'ect of a volcano in full blow. Januaria 
had lately been visited by a convert, pervert or divert Spaniard, 
in the j^ay of a certain Bible Distribution Societ}^ When I w^as 
there he had left to raise more grist for the mill at Bio de 
Janeiro ; and he had bequeathed to a Portuguese clerk the work 
of conversion, perversion, or diversion. The priests down-stream 
were much scandalized by the distribution of '* false Bibles," and 
I could not but sj^mpathize with them, knowing how easily in 
these countries the local mind is unsettled by a small matter. 
Surely it will be time to Protestantize the world when it shall 
have been Christianized. Similarly the missioner t and the mis- 

* According to Arruda, the "Acanta- '' ]\Ii.s,sioner." The Eeviewer did not re- 
carix pinguis ; " the tree prefers the sandy member that of late years "Missioner " has 
soils of the Taboleiros and Chapadas, where been adopted by the (Roman) Catholic, in 
the growth deserves all encouragement. Its contradistinction to the Protestant ' ' Mis- 
height is fifty feet, with proportional girth ; sionary." Perhaps it would be more an- 
the timber is good for boat-making ; and thropological to call the former the phase of 
the fruit, as large as an orange, supplies an faith at present adopted by Southern Europe, 
oily, farinaceous, and very nourishing pulp, opposed to the young Church which belongs 
much enjoyed by the people of Ceara and to Northern Europe, and to the Greek 
Piauhy (Koster, ii. jjp. 486 — 7). Church, as old as the oldest which prevails 

t The Saturday lleview, when noticing in semi-Oriental Eastern Europe. Similarly 

a book which I wrote after my return from Ave ol)serve in El Islam that certain un- 

Dahomc, remarked the use of the word important articles of belief — unimpor- 


sionary, Jesuit and Cliiircli of England, have been let loose upon 
Abj^ssinia, whose church dates from the tliii'd centiuy, and 
doubtless resembles the i)rimitive form far more than those of 
Eome and London. A few massacres have been the direct, and 
an Abyssmian campaign the indirect, result of the merciful inter- 
ference. Meanwhile, mitil quite of late years, the Galla accolents 
have been left in full enjo^^ment of theii' savage fetishism. 

Eevenons ! After a walk of four miles we reached an admii*- 
able grove of mangos, perhaps the finest that I have beheld in 
the Brazil, lining the approach to our host's property, the Fa- 
zenda de Santo Antonio do Brejo do Salgado. It is on the right 
bank of the Salgado, or Salt Eivulet, which rises in a pretty plain, 
the Fazenda da Carahyba, and which feeds the Sao Francisco a 
little below the settlement, to wliich it gave a name. Here it 
breaks through the Boqueirao, a gap in the Serra do Brejo, 
vrhere it acquires a cooling and salt-bitter flavour, which argues 
saltpetre. When floods in the main artery block up the mouth, 
it can be ascended by canoes, showing that the channel could be 
converted into a canal. The people avoid drinking the water, as 
it is highly laxative ; and after usmg it strangers must check the 
efi'ects with an orangeade made of the sweet, fade and medicinal 
''laranja da terra."* In two years it has deposited on the 
wooden watercourse which tm-ns the turbine, a coat of calcareous 
matter about three inches in thickness. Its lime and salts give 
a wondrous fertility to its little valley, the richest spot that we 
have yet seen on the Rio de Sao Francisco ; and dm'ing the whole 
jom'ne}^ we shall see few that equal it. 

Amongst the Mangos I detected by its circular crown of fronds 
an old friend in the other hemisphere, the Cocoa-nut, here called 
Coco da Praia. It was a fine taU and lusty specimen of the 
Cocos nucifera, hung with sixteen nuts. The tree is plentiful 
along the coast from Pdo de Janeiro to Para ; t except, however, 

tant because neither the Koran nor TracU- St. Hil. (III. ii. 409) says of Salgado, 

tion has pronounced iipon them — are *'Cette bourgade doit son nom a I'un de 

adopted by one school of di^'inity because ses premiers habitans, et non, comme on 

the rival school has preferred another view. pom-rait le croire, a la qualite, un peu 

*' Ragban I'il Tasannun"— in hate against saumatre, de ses eaux." This is, I believe, 

the Sunnis— is the Shiah reason for adopt- a mistake. Pizarro has explained the 

ing some of its minor usages. origin of the term correctly ; he remarks 

* The perfumed flower of this countiy that the waters are stomachic, deobstnient, 

orange is much admired by the humming- digestive, and capable of healing or dimi- 

bird. I was here told that the fiiiit be- nishing goitres. 

comes bitter or tasteless, imless periodically f I* ^^^st be remembered that the Cocos 

refreshed by grafting, and they showed me nucifera was not found in the Brazil by the 

orange -trees six years old, but still barren. earliest explorers. 

264 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BEAZIL. [chap. xvii. 

upon the river sides, it wanders but a short way inland, justifying 
the popuhxr belief that it requii'es sea air. Here a bee-line to 
the Atlantic measures 350 miles, and we shall find it extending 
in patches all the way down-stream. The largest plantation is 
at the Lugar da Aldea do Salitre, seven leagues south-west from 
Joazeiro ; the fruit is exported by Dr. Joaquim Jose Ribeiro de 
Magalhaes, who x)referred farming and road-making to being a 
Desembargador in the Ilela9ao of Maranham. Both these places 
have saline or saltpetrous waters. The Coco da Bahia, as it is 
also called, is found, however, in many spots where the ground, 
possibly an old sea-bed, supplies the want of sea air. 

The host led us into his garden, and showed us, embedded in 
the soil at an angle of 45°, a semicircular fragment of " Cavitaria,'^ 
the true white and black granite of Rio Bay, two feet broad, two 
and a half long, and three deep. The sides had been chipped, 
and the face had been used as a grindstone. An old Quattro- 
mao declared that the Geraes had whole hills of such rock, but 
no one believed him. It had probably been brought from down- 
stream, and about Joazeiro we found the formation common. 
The energetic Netherlander s, it will be remembered, built a Fort 
Maurice at the mouth of the Sao Francisco, and plundered 
Penedo ; it is more than probable that during their Thu'ty Years' 
War in the Brazil, they visited the upper stream. So M. Hal- 
feld remarks that the floods of 1792 laid bare in the river bank 
several tiles more than a foot long each way, and five mches thick. 
He believes them to date from the age of the '' Hollandezes." 

The plague of the garden is the '' Cupim," and nothing but 
the plough will remove it from the rich fat soil. The coffee 
planted under the shade of the Shangos or luxuriant jack-fiaiit 
trees, ajDpeared to be subject to the caterpillar; not so the leaves 
exposed to the sun. We saw a single tree dating from 1828, and 
were told that during its best days it had borne fifteen pounds per 
annum. The sugar-cane was remarkably fine, and once planted 
it lasts almost through a man's life. The arrowroot (a Maranta) 
grew well ; the Guandu pea was common, and there was a large 
grass whose dried root much resembled patchouli. The flowers 
were the i)erfumed "Bougarim," suggesting a white rose, lilies, 
gigantic snowy jasmines, and the "bonina," a land of ^'prettj^- 

To the north-east we saw the solitary steeple of N^ S'^ do 
Rosario gleaming against a green hill. South of it were the tiled 


roofs of the Barro Alto, a fine plantation, and behind them lay 
the '*Boqueii*ao " estate, as well as gap, where the Church of 
Santo Antonio, built by Maciel, the Adelantado, lies in rums. 
To the west-north-west peeped the summits of the Matriz do 
Amparo, the mother of Januaria city. And the background was 
the Serra do Brejo, pillared with cactus, capped with thin bush, 
and walled with banded grey cliffs of a stratification so regular as 
to resemble art, and stained here and there with a bright ferru- 
ginous red. 

We then visited the sugar-house,* which had poor machinery, 
but an excellent article to work upon. Instead of troughs there 
were Jacas, cones of bamboo, each containing four bushels, and 
piu'ging into pits below. Good mules were straying about the 
grounds; the natives cost 30 $000, and those driven from the 
Province of Rio Grande do Sul, via Sorocaba and S. Paulo, a two 
years' journey, fetch 50 $ 000 to 60 $ 000. A " Jack " showed that 
breeding is here in vogue ; further down the river asses become 
common. Flesh is not plentiful, and a cow of the small Raga 
curaleira, which gives good meat, commands 8 §000 to 10 $000. 
The '' Curios " shown to us were broad-brimmed hats of the Imbe 
Vermelho, an Aroid used like the African '' tie-tie ;" its fibre takes 
a good colour ; the leather clothing was soft as cloth ; there were 
stout cottons, and woollen stripes and checks, worked by the 
women of Tamandua, and stained with indigo, and a powerfully 
di'astic cucurbitaceous plant known as the Bucha dos Paulistas.f 
We breakfasted at the usual bucolic hour, 9 a.m., preferred to 
Lisbon wine the " Minas wine," i.e., Restillo, and the peculiar 
cheese Requejao,! which here always accompanies coffee. We 
ended mth Januaria-made cigars ; the tobacco came from the 
hilly Geraes three leagues to the north-west of the city, and the 

' * The whitest sugar in Januaria came S. Paulo it is known as the Purga de Joao 

from Pitangui (120 leagues). It would Paes (Momordica oijerculata), and alludes 

easily have been crystallised, and moulded to its various uses. We also heard of a 

into loaves. I suggested the use of animal smaller variety, said to be even more vio- 

charcoal ; but who will take the trouble to lent in its action, and the jjlant was 

make it when clay is found ready made ? described as resembling the Passion-flower, 

+ Literally, the gun-wadding of the It is probably the Buchinha, or Lufia 

Paulistas. The specimen showed to us was purgans, whose extract is used as the 

a fibre containing dark oleaginous seeds. coloquintida. 

About one square inch of it is steeped in J In making Requejao, the milk is 

water over night, and drunk in the morning curded, as if for cheese, and butter and 

as an emetic, &c. , by those who suffer from cream are afterwards added. It lasts for 

paralysis (" ar," or "stupor") induced two years, and is still soft, 
by river fever. The System asserts that in 


leaf costs 3 $000 per bushel; the cigars are retailed at a half- 
l^enny each, and they are better than many *' Havannahs." 

Finally, we mounted neat nags, and taking the western road, 
which goes to Mato Grosso, visited the venerable Arraial do Brejo 
do Salgado. It lies at the eastern foot of the Serra, which gives 
the air some similaritv to the breath of a hothouse, and the curious 
limestone blocks were reeking with heat. The hamlet now con- 
sists of a sprinkHng of houses round a square, whose centre is the 
Chui'ch of N''^ S^ do Amparo, remarkable for notlimg but red 
doors of solid timber, with tall bosses. Adjoinmg is a stone box 
with barred windows rej^jresenting the jail, and a tall tiled roof, 
wanting the finish of walls, showed that it did not need enlarge- 
ment. The people were yellow from eating fish and manioc* 
Amongst them was a Polish Jew, Moses Mamlofsky, who did not 
sx)eak in flattering terms of his new home ; he had been in part- 
nership with a German co-religionist, Samuel Warner, who called 
upon us at Januaria. The latter called himself a New Yorker; 
unfortunately he could not speak English ; twenty years ago he 
settled in these parts, made money, and sj^ent it. 

The glory of the Brejo was the Conego Marinho, before men- 
tioned as the historian of the movement of '42. He was equally dis- 
tinguished as a liberal, an orator, and a statesman. We called upon 
several of the notables, who exhorted us strongly to visit the Lapa 
de Santa Anna, distant two leagues. Here the old conquerors 
found, or by vivid fancy thought that they found, stone crosses 
cut by the " Indians," statues of Saint Anthon}^, and so forth. f 
We heard, also, of another cave, in which a rocket could be fired 
without striking the ceiling; perhaps some more leisurely tra- 
veller may find it worth his while to inspect these places. At the 
Brejo we were told the romantic tale of its origin. When Manoel 
Pires Maciel, the Portuguese explorer, was descending the river, 
he attacked, on the Pandeiros influent, a powerful kinglet, who 
governed 120 miles of country between the mouths of the Urucuia 
and the Carunhanha streams. The redskins fled luuTiedly, and 
the chief's wife hid her babe under a heap of leaves, as the 

■* They are not, liowever, a short-lived rica, long before the age of Saint Columbus, 

race. Our host's father, aged 81, rides was doubtless reached by Em-opeaus and 

like a man of 40, and the vicar. Padre Africans, possibly by Christians, even as the 

Joaquini Martins Pereira, is still vigorous western shores had Asiatics occasionally 

at the ripe age of 77. driven to them. I shall reserve the grounds 

t I will not positively assert that all was of my conclusion for a future volume, 
fancy. The Eastern Coast of South Ame- 


csLjjnsin is said to conceal its j-oung. Tlie Conquistadores' dogs 
found the pappoose, who was christened Catherina, brought up as 
a Christian, and finally married by her capturer. She bore to 
him two daughters, Ainia, who settled with her husband Joao 
FeiTeira Braga, upon the Acaiy River, and Theodora, who became 
the wife of Antonio Pereira Soares. The name of Maciel has 
been merged into that of many Portuguese houses, Bitancourt, 
Gomes, Morenas, Proencas, and Carneii'os. Catherina's issue 
now forms a clan of 4000 souls, whose coal-black haii', brown 
skins, and sub-oblique eyes, sometimes *' brides," still bear traces 
of this Brazilian Pocahontas. 

We retmiied to Januaria delighted with our visit, but justly 
anticipating some trouble in collecting a crew. The Guaiculiy 
men positively refused, despite liberal offers, to i^roceed ; they 
were, doubtless, anxious to look after theii* wives. Sr. Manoel 
Caetano and his brother-ui-law walked with me all about the cit}^, 
and found that six of the barcas desired to start, but wanted 
hands. Man}^ of the barqueiros had been carried off to the war, 
others had fled theii' homes, and some declmed to leave the city, 
lest they might be enlisted in a strange land. Moreover, this is 
the season, as we were warned by the fiercely howling vrind, which 
swept up the water from the Bahian shore, when the fields must 
be made ready. Finally, there is no actual poverty in this part 
of the world ; the pauper has at least a cow, and a mare to ride, 
with imlimited power of begging or borrowing food from his 
neighbom*; consequently, he will not work till compelled by 
approaching want. Those who did consent coquetted, demand- 
ing, at least, three daj^s' delay, and one fellow, free, but black as 
my boot, could not start without his boiled shirt. 

From Januaria to Joazeii'o the liii'e of a bare a is 1 S 000 per 
diem, and the barquemen are usually paid 14 $000 a head, a poor 
sum, but the diet is some consideration. It was vain to offer 
20 $000, of course including tobacco, spirits, and rations. At 
last I closed with a pilot and a paddle-man, who demanded 
35 $000 and 30 $000. My excellent friends had sent on board 
everything necessary for the long jom^ne}^,* and we determined to 

* The proyisions boiiglit at Januaria Farinlia ..... 1$280 

were: — 6 medidas of rice . . . 1$920 

32 lbs. roll tobacco . . . 6|000 5 lbs. meat . . . . o|600 

20 Rapaduras . . . 2 §400 Quarta of beans . . . 2 $000 

Demijolm of Restillo . . . 1$S00 

Lard 3$500 Total . . . 19$500 

268 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. xvii. 

set out at once. There was an ugly frown upon the forehead of 
the western sky, thunder growled, and lightning flashed in all 
directions. The new crew shook their heads, and I began to fear 
the loss of, at least, half the next da}'. However, they took heart 
of grace, and we pushed off, to make fast a few mmutes afterwards 
near the ruins of the Rosario. 

We shall miss the frank and ready hospitality of Januaria as we 
advance, and going farther we shall fare worse in the little matter 
of reception. The change will make us think more often of the 
kind-hearted and obhging Lieutenant- Colonel Manoel Caetano de 
Souza Silva ; of his brother-in-law, Capitao Antonio Francisco 
Teixeira Serrao ; of the Promotor Publico, Luis de Souza Ma- 
chado ; of Gongalo Jose de Pinho Leao, and others who took so 
much interest in the passmg strangers. 



Third Travessia, 30| Leagues. 

the ^^le tveather.— remaln^s of the red-skin's. — the hamlet and large 
church of n^ s*^ da coxceiclo dos morrixhos. — decay axd desola- 
tion. — the manga do amador settlement. — the song of the birds. 
— the rio yerde, a salt stream. — the carunhanha riyer. — the 


Ergue-se sobre o mar alto peuedo, 

Que huma angra a raiz tern dos naos amparo, 

Onde das ramas no intrechado enredo, 
Causa o verde prospecto hum gesto raro. 

Caramnru, G, 18. 

It was an abominable nigiit. The storm, as often happens in 
the Brazil, assumed the t3^)e of a Cyclone, passmg round from 
north via east to south, and about the small hours I thought 
that the '' Eliza's " awning would have been beaten down by wind 
and rain. The new men, both now and afterwards, j)roYed them- 
selves real watermen ; the}' tallied much, but they worked more, 
and better still, neither of them drank, nor had "sarnas."* The 
pilot, Jose Joaquim de Santa Anna, officiates in a black coat ; he 
is silent and dignified, rarely consorting with the barquemen. Of 
very different temper is Manuel Felipe Barboza, who rejoices in 
the cognomen ''das Mocas," or '' Barba de Veneno ; " he sings, he 
roars, he improvises Amab?ean verse ; he chaffs like a bargee, 
and the fluency and virulence of his satire have made this 
'* repentista" t celebrated as '•' the Poison beard." Yet he has 

* The ''Indians," from time immemo- Some are loathsome objects, with blotched 

rial, used to treat their " sarnas " by ex- and mottled skins, even after the .sores 

tracting, with a pointed thorn, the Acarns have become scars. As on the Lower Congo, 

(an Arachnid) which produced it. The the disease is highly infectious, and very 

psoriasis is very common amongst the boat- difficidt to cm-e ; in fact, many declare it 

men of the Sao Francisco, but they have to be incurable, 
never adopted the wild system of healing it. f An imj)rovisatore. I need hardly say 

270 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BEAZIL. [chap, xviii. 

not ignored the main chance, and he expects to make money by 
investing capital in water-guggiets, straw-hats, and bricks 
(tijolos) of orange and other sweetmeats, which he will sell 
down- stream. 

Tlmrsday, Sept. 2G, 1867. — The evil weather produced a start 
at 5 A.M. After passing some uninteresting spots * we were on the 
jDarallel of the Mocambo, which has been mentioned as one of 
the districts of Januaria. Beyond it,! on the left bank, rose the 
Morro do Angii, and its long sandy and partially cultivated 
_island ; the heights are aj^parently an offset from the Serra do 
Brejo, a scrubby lump with scarped walls of grey and red- 
stained limestone. Presently the rain and thunder, coming from 
the north, drove us for refuge into a narrow channel formed by a 
'' steamboat island," near the right bank. The hurricane proved 
a mere '' peta " or feint, and after losing half-an-hour, we re- 
sumed the way and presently anchored on the Praia do Jacare, 
opposite a small Arraial of the same name. AVe are now careful 
to take the windward or Bahian bank, and to avoid the vicinity 
of tall trees. To its north rose the Pico do Itacaramby,t a term 
which none could explain ; early in the day it had appeared to us 
lilve a tall blue pyramid. Here we found it to be the southern 
buttress of a line of scattered hills that trend to the north with 
easting. The low cone presented a cmious aj^pearance, the 
colour was somewhat darker than the slaty back-ground of low- 
ering sk}", and it seemed to vomit grey puffs of heavy mist, 
which formed conducting lines of electrical vapours gu'ding the 
nimbus cloud. 

Sept. 27. — The nev/ moon brought with it for a time heavier 

that the practice come« from Portugal, Jatoba, fronted by canoes, and composed of 

Tv'liere the " jnsta," or trial of strength, is mud and tiled huts, faced the river, which 

still popular amongst the peasantry. Here here must flood the banks, 
it met the "Indian" blood, which had Z St, Hil. (I. ii, 24) mentions a Fazenda 

also the habit of mailing impromptu de Itacorambi, and derives it from "ita," 

chaunts. a stone, and "and carambui," small and 

* The Ilha da Boa Vista on tlie right ; pretty ; certainly not applicable here. A 

the Ilha de Rodeador, fronted by houses, l.>etter explanation is that given to him by 

and the Vendinba islet, on the left. a Spaniard of Paraguaj^ well versed in 

t Tbe Barra do Pan Preto, a small yel- Gruarani : "itaacabi," a mountain divided 

low stream from the right ; the Fazenda and into two branches. Pizarro believes that 

large island of Amargoso ; and the Yar- this place was discovered in 1698 by the 

ginha, which showed a tiled house. After Paulist Captain Miguel Domingos; St. 

noon we passed the Ilha do Jatoba, a but- Hil. (I. ii. 303) attributes it to Fernando 

tress lying to the left of the stream ; at Bias Paes. 
the bottom of the sack, the Arraial do 


weather, and the an* was wet and soppy. Presently tlie west 
bank showed a broad sandy ramp, the road to Sao Joao das 
Missoes (or dos Indios), distant from the river three leagues, and 
the object of a great Patron (Komaria) on its Samt's-day. Here, 
removed eighteen leagues from their old home — the beautiful Brejo 
do Salgado, a savage paradise — are villaged the remains of three 
great tribes, the Chavantes, still powerful on the head waters of 
the Tocantins ; the Chacriabas (Xicriabas), and the Botucudos or 
" bung-lipped " races, an indefinite general name. Of old the 
Geraes hereabouts were held by the Acroas, vulgarly known as the 
Coroados or tonsured people, the Clierentes, and the Aiicobis, 
who were dangerous till 1715. Now the nearest of the wild 
'' Eed-skins " are about Moquem,* in Goyaz, distant some 125 

After a succession of the usual features,! at 1'30 p.m. we saw 
Cascalho on the right bank, and washerwomen, the usual 
approach to a town. 'We ascended a natui-al ramp, and fell into 
a kind of street much broken up by the waters ; thence turning 
to the right we made the large square with its tall central cross, the 
beginnings of a second. Here the inundations have never ex- 
tended. On the north there is a Casa da Camara, whose shutters 
are shut, and a jail whose gratmg is open. The twenty-one houses, 
including tv\'o ruins, are of the humblest, and down-stream are 
two parallel lines of thii-teen to fourteen huts. The eastern side 
of the square is occupied by N*"^ S^ da Conceicao dos Morrinlios, 
which gives a name to the place. It is a '^ delubrum mir© magni- 
tudmis," which enjoys a wide reputation, and which makes the 
stranger inquh-e how it came here. It owes its origin to the piety 
of a certain Mathias Cardozo, before mentioned, who, with liis 
sister Catherina do Prado, married in Sao Paulo to a Portuguese, 
settled in the wild, and for his services against the " Indians " 
obtained the rank of Mestre de Campo, a dignity to extend 
thi'ough three generations. He, and after him his son J anuario, 
built, of com-se by the svreat of ''Indian" brows, the fane, 
and the latter sent to Bahia for masons and carpenters. 

* I have explained tliis word (and its slightly exposed to tlie flame. 

verlj moqnear), whicli tlie author of the + The Ilha do Capao, where T\I. Halfeld 

Caramurii defines as follows : places a ^'illage ; opposite it, on the left 

Chamao ilfog-M^Hi as carnes que se cobrem, bank, the Fazenda da Barreira (H., As 

E a fogo lento sepiiltadas assao. Barreiras). Then the sandy islet and Fa- 

This is our "gnishen." The term, how- zenda da Resaca (H. , Resacca) made ns take 

ever, is also applied to meat smoked or the left side. 

272 THE HIGHLA:XDS OF THE BEAZIL. [chap, xviii. 

The temple, facing a little north of west, rises from a platform 
of fine bricks, 1 span 4 fingers long, and 2 inches thick ; these and 
mortar compose the building.* It might easily have been made of 
stone, as massive calcareous blocks appear bald-headed above 
the ground. The fagade has the usual pediment, protected by 
eaves with three rows of tiles, an attempt at a rose-light, and 
shuttered and railed windows above and below. Between the 
two latter is the gate, with massive doors, strengthened by large 
round-headed nails ; it is apparently never opened, and signs of 
fire appear near the floor, — bits of crosses, strings of beads, and 
decayed scapulars hang about it. The towers are massive, and 
capped with whitewashed pyramids like those of Sao Bento 
in Bio de Janeiro. The brickwork, however, is falhng from 
above the windows, and poles planted against the front show that 
repairs are in prospect. On the northern and southern sides are 
fragments of cloisters, arches supported by six large square 
piers ; both end towards the east in rooms intended as sacris- 
ties. Outside the mortar is green with damp below, and stained 
red by the ochreous earth above. Inside, the northern cloister 
is heaped with sand and goat-dung ; opposite it the bulges of 
red clay dotting the floor betoken graves, a bier also lies under 
the arches, and a broken coffin is propped against the wall. 

We had some trouble to procure the keys ; at last appeared 
the sacristan with the normal " tail." The interior was worse 
than the exterior ; the ceiling was partly stripped of its cedar 
boardings, the choii* was ruinous — here deca}^ generally com- 
mences, and the pulpits were likely to fall. The four side- 
chaj)els in the body of the cluu'ch resembled portable oratories. 
A bold and well-built arch, revetted with fine wood and raihngs 
of turned Jacaranda, led to the high altar, which did not show 
any signs of gilding or whitewash. Below it a broken slab of 
slate from Malhada, bore inscribed : — 





The date had been forgotten, and the sacristan could only tell 

* Not "templo de pedra," as M. Half eld Las it. 


US that at Morrinhos had lately died, aged 113 years, a man who 
said that the tomb was there when he was born. 

We ascended the little hill at whose western foot the fane lies. 
The substance is blue limestone, in places banded with hard 
quartz, and capped with agglomerated sandstone ; the soil 
stained with oxide of iron produces the red blots which marble 
these lumps. Formerly the Morrinho supplied saltpetre ; it is 
now either exhausted or neglected. From the thorny sum- 
mit we ascertain that the left bank is of similar formation, 
and even more subject to floods. Here we count foiu* 
knobs of ground, the Morros da Lavagem, do Salitre, and so 

The smoky mists rising above a floating tree that left foam 
in its wake, formed a phantom-ship, which startled us by its 
resemblance to an expected steamer.* Descending on the right 
of a long island, the Manga do Amador, we saw the village of 
that name, advantageously situated upon the " Pernam side." 
It is the first unflooded settlement which we have seen on the 
high Sao Francisco, and the superiority of site will tell in 
future years. Two barrancos or bluffs rise at least 100 feet 
above the brown tree-dotted bank, and are divided by a deep 
gulley, draining a bayou behind the village. The colour is a 
deep red earth — the finest of soils — extending down to the white 
clay of the water-side. I counted seventeen doors on the 
northern summit, and the settlement though 3'oung was not 
without ruins. 

After a last hour's work we found anchorage ground near the 
Ilha do Carculo. Towards night we viewed the stars and planets 
lilve the faces of long-absent friends. The ^' Avander-lights " + 
flashed through tlie darkness of the trees, the gull screamed at 
our intrusion, the bull-frog (Sapo boi), and the Cururu (Rana 
ventricosa), croaked like the wheel of a sugar-mill being set in 
motion ; and again we heard the complaint of Whip-poor- Will, and 
of the Eurj^angu, which brought to mind the delightful wilds of 
the Eio das Velhas. The raw damp became mild and balmy, the 
lightning sank to the very horizon, and the north cleared to 

*■ Chapter 25 ■will tell how we were dis- These specimens will show that the Portu= 

appointed. giiese langiiage has some of the prettiest 

t Vaga-lume, the tirefly, also known a.s and the ugliest of descriptive expressions, 
pcrilampo, and Cacafogo (Elatevnoctilncns), 

VOL. ir. T 


a dull blue. In fact, Hope visited us once more, and very 

Sc2)t. 28. — We set out at tlie normal hour, 5 A.:\r., despite the 
heavy shower, and, after three hours' work, we landed on the 
right hank to inspect the mouth of the Rio Yerde Grande. 
This stream flows from the northern sloj^es of Montes Claros ; 
coming from the south it receives the Verde Pequeno, which 
drains the western Serra das Almas, a branch of the Grao Mogor 
range, and a counter versant of the great Rio Pardo that inoscu- 
lates wdtli the Jequitinhonha, the two uniting and bending to the 
north-west from the frontier of the Minas and Bahia Provinces. 
The stream is ascended by canoes, some thirty leagues from the 

At the mouth of the Rio Verde Grande is a broad "praia " 
which causes the stream to flow along the right bank of the Sao 
Francisco. U2)on the water-side, which is caked with mud, we 
found, as might be expected, a liner diamantine "formariio.'' 
The higher parts of the beach were occupied by a negro family, 
whose hut was in a little garden of beans and water-melons. Here 
the latter thrive upon sand, almost pure of humus, and where 
" corn " is short and wilted. They sold to us for three coppers 
five melancias, very cheap compared with what the fruit will be 
further down. Bees were bus}^ among the flowers, the pink 
Crista de gallo, Hke our '' cockscomb," and the thorny-leaved, 
yellow-blossomed dog-rose-like Sarrao (Argemone mexicana) 
called '' Cardo Santo," or holy thistle, from its real or supposed 
medicinal properties.*" From this point we shall see its grey- 
green glaucous leafage all down the river. Another plant with 
white flower, pink stigma, long stamens, delicate leaves which 
curl up in the sun, and viscous stalk, will show its dull verdure 
in damp places near the settlements. The people call it Mus- 
tambe, and Mr, Davidson, after trial of the taint, declared it to be 
the ''stink-plant" of the Mississippi valley. The Tiririca rush, so 
common on the streams of the Brazil, resembles paj^yrus, and towers 
over the Capim Amargoso (bitter grass), a large broad flag much 
loved by cattle* We saw but few animals on the banks, as the 
owners had begun to drive them inland* A few ^ears ago one of 

'^ Azara (i. 132) iiiCntloiis its fee in gcsts the Carduus iJcnedictus of the olfl 
fcvevfs ; Prince M-ax. (i. 891) refers to it an Morld, couccrning which Me may ask, ** Ik- 
a remedy for snake l>ites, The wnr'l snti- nc<liitiis I mIiv IJencdictiis ,' " 


the breeders lost 300 head by the sudden floodmg of the Green 

The Rio Verde discharges tlu'ough a bending avenue of fine 
timber a considerable stream about 150 feet broad. The water 
was of a dii'ty muddy green, "heavy," as the crev\^ remarked, and 
sensibly salt, mthout, however, the taste of saltpetre. These 
saline influents on the Ui^per Sao Francisco were remarked by Dr. 
Couto ; they attract swarms of fish, who enjoy them as beasts do 
the "salt-licks." From this part of the valley downwards we 
heard of many similar formations : the Riacho do Ramalho, ten 
leagues below Carunhanha ; the Riacho dos Cocos, falling into the 
northern Rio das Egoas, and others. They are worth explora- 
tion ; Salinas or deep deposits of sea-salt would be better than 
gold-mmes, and open a fount of wealth to some enterprising man. 
The water might be treated like saltpetre, made into lye, and left 
to sun in pans or troughs. At present salt must be here im- 
ported from the Villa da Barra do Rio Grande, and even from 
Joazeiro ; consequently it costs per quarta * 8 §000 to 12 $000. 

On the low right bank beyond the Green River there is yet more 
cultivation. We were charmed with the soft and amene scener}* 
about the Fazenda das ]\Ielancias, backed by the Serra da Mal- 
hada, a north-eastern oftset from the Montes Altos, the further 
wall of the Rio Verde Pequeno. Presently ^Ye passed the mouth 
of the Japore, a considerable stream draining the Geraes massed 
together in our maps as the Chapadfio de Santa Maria ; the 
confluence is known as the Barra do Prepece, which the j^ilots 
could not explain, I believe it to be the name of some Indian 
chief. The next influent, also from the left, was the Riacho do 
Ypoeii'a. Mr. Halfeld translates this Indian term " lagoa," or 
" tanque d'agua," but it is temporary, whereas the " lagoa " 
is perennial. It is becoming a constant feature, found where the 
banks are flat, and have not, as above Januaria, waves of high ground 
perpendicular to the main artery, and dividing the tributaries from 
the east and from the west. We here miss these heights, which often 
extended to the water, rising above all inundations, and forming 
a natural dyke to contain the channel. The low lands subtending 
the river-ridge are periodically filled by the floods, which are thus 

■' The old ''Broaca " of 2t prates (each das to o'i (at Joazeiro), or from SO to 12^ 
4 lbs.) is no longer mentioned. The smaller ]])s.,make the " quart'." vhich everywhere 
measure is the medida of i 11 »s. : 20 medi- varies. 

r -2 

^t6 'THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap, xviii. 

prevented from extending far, as on tlie upper stream. The 
swamps afterwards dry up or become ^'nateiros," i.e., slimes. 
Wonderful draughts of fish, especiall}^ the Surubim and the Tra- 
hira, are taken from the Ypoeiras, and some parts of the valley are 
literally manured with fin. A boat-load is caught by dragging 
branches along the Avaters as they dry up, and the denizens may 
be caught Avith the hand. 

We ran quickly past the Pontal da Barra do llio Carunhanha,* 
a large western influent which di^ams the Serra da Tauatinga, and 
is a counter' versant of the Parana or Paranan, the eastern head- 
water of the Tocantins. It is navigable for some tw^enty leagues 
up to the Serra or dividing ridge, through which it breaks ; then 
it becomes a succession of rocks and rapids. Large timber, 
especially cedar, is here felled ; made into balsas or rafts, and 
floated down for sale. Seen from the south the low sole appears 
overgrown with trees, a view from the west discloses a river about 
300 feet, curving through grand vegetation, and it has probably 
shifted south-westwards or up-stream. The left jaw is a mass of 
sand, disposed in waving lines ; a little further down, and forming 
a dark line, is a deposit of fine purple slate in slabs or layers. It 
is not wholly neglected. I saw several pieces two inches thick 
and twenty feet long, and smaller sizes were cut into round and 
oblong tables; they were without stains or signs of p^Tites.f 
The Carunhanha is the western frontier between the Provinces 
of Minas Geraes and Bahia, and at the Pontal or Ponto do 
Escuro a guard was stationed, and duties upon goods were 
levied. It was deserted on account of the malignant typhoid 
fevers, called " Carneiradas," which butcher men like sheep 
(carneiros). Since 1852 the receivership has been transferred to 
the right bank. 

We made for the *' Malhada," or to give it the full name, 
N^ S^ do Eosario da ^'Malhada," i.e., a shady place where cattle 
gather during the hot hours. Here the Sao Francisco broadens 
to 2650 feet, and turns to the north-east ; the Carunhanha pour- 
ing down the left channel strews the main stream with snags and 
branchy trunks, and forms a sand-bar, and a shoal which extends 
some way down. We were obliged to round the northern end of 

* It is thus generally written ; other Arinhanha, the large otter, 
forms are Carynhanha, Carinhenha, CariuT + M. Halfeld notices this qnariy, and 

licnha, and Caronhanlia (preferred by Dr. calls it Phyllado or argillaceous schist. 
Couto) ; it is su])poscd to be a corruption of 


the latter, and to bring the *' Brig Eliza's " head up to the south- 
east. The shore being exposed to the south-west wind, wliich 
came on heavily, yeasting the stream, I sent the craft to em- 
ba}' herself (ensaccar-se) leeward of the Coroa da Malliada, 
above the settlement. The single barca which was at anchor 
followed her example, but the canoes remained staked to the 

The Poi*to is a bank of sand and clay cut in steps by the ebb 
of the floods, grown with a few weeds, but bare of trees. A few 
horses and mules lingered over a scanty meal, and boys were 
fishing and bathing near a sandspit, where the water is too shal- 
low for the dreaded Piranha. The settlement faces a little to the 
north of west, the houses on the bank are of mud and tile, one 
only being whitewashed ; the long ends, of wliich the greater part 
is occupied by the door, fronts the stream, and the rails of the 
compounds are used as '' horses " for drying clothes. The 
settlement consists of a water-street and two parallel thorough- 
fares, T^ith a central square. Here is the Rosario Church, a 
ground-floor fronted by a deep sheltering porch ; before it stands 
a rude black cross, bearing amongst the instruments of the 
Passion a very rude cock, and planted round with the Bai'ba de 
Barata, or '' cockroach's beard."* 

The houses show a water-mark three feet high. Above the 
Malliada is the Sangradom'o de Santa Cruz, which every year 
for about a week in January or February, permits the floods 
nearty to surround the settlement. After that the flow is sur- 
rounded by stagnant water, in places so deep that a boat- 
pole does not touch bottom. Of com'se this evil might 
easily be remedied, but who will undertake the cure which is 
" everybody's business ? " To the east the land becomes sandy, 
and produces good cotton and sugar, the castor shrub, and the 
ever-gTeen Joazeiro-tree,+ a gigantic shady umbrella for man and 
beast. The level here begins to rise above all floods, towards the 
Serra de Yuyii, or lujaiy, | distant six leagues. It is a segment 

* This is tlie Poinciana pulcliemma, a to the System, its acrid, Litter, and astrin- 

brilliaut leguminous shi'ub, supposed to gent bark promotes emetism. Here, as in 

have been brought from Asia. According the Sertao of Ceara, it presei-ves during the 

to the System it is rich in " stryphno, " the diy season its foliage, which is eaten by 

astringent j)rinciple. cattle. 

+ "Zizyphiis Joazeiro " (A9eifafa Joa- + This is a Tupy word, which no one 

zeii'o), a species of Jujube tree ; an ally to could explain. The range Js also called 

the hawthorn (Prof. Aga.ssiz). Accoixling Serra da Malhada. 

278 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap, xviir. 

of an arch extending from east to south-east, and opposing its 
concavity to the river ; there is apparently a projecting elbow or 
a buttress which forms an apex fronting to the west. It is said 
to be calcareous, and to abound in saltpetre. The western bank 
of the Siio Francisco is a vast level ; the nearest range is distant 
about fifteen leagues. This Serra do Eamalho, more generally 
known as'* A Serra," is also calcareous and off- sets from the 
great dividing ridge between Bahia and Goyaz. 

I had a letter for Lieut. Silverio Goncalvez de Ai'aujo Lou- 
reiro, Administrator of the duties payable to the Provincial 
Treasury of Mmas Geraes (Administrada da Cobran^a do The- 
souro Provincial da Provincia de Minas). We called upon him 
at his house in '' Water Street," and sat there talking over 
coffee. He hails from Ouro Preto ; and having spent twelve 
months in this vile hole, where of his escort, a sergeant and four 
men, all but one are dead or absent, he pui'poses to leave it as 
soon as possible. 

Lieut. Loureiro gave me a printed paper, dated October 19, 
1860, and showing that the several " Recebedorias " collected a 
total of 600Z. to 800?. per annum.* Here imports and exports are 
both taxed, and onl}^ salt going up-stream does not pay. Three 
per cent, are taken on cotton, minor articles of provisions, worked 
tobacco (including Pixua, a kind of Cavendish prepared for 
che™ig), clothes, pottery bowls, canoes and woods for fui'niture ; 
hammocks, wliips, saddles, and so forth. Coffee is rated at three- 
and-a-half per cent, and six per cent, is recovered from grain, 
raw provisions, including x)oultry, which is the best thing in this 
place ; liides, ipecacuanha, quinine, and precious stones, the 
diamond only excepted. The horse, valued at 51. , is taxed 
3 $160; the native mule (8Z.), 4g.960; the Sao Paulo mule, 
5g000, and black cattle, 0$600. These animals are driven to 
Bahia by a vile road which their hoofs made ; it crosses difficult 
Serras without bridges or any "benefits," and the distance is 130 

A white man walked in whilst we were sitting with Lieut. 
Loureiro, and astonished us by his civilised aspect, amongst all 
this Gente de Cor; he was introduced as Dr. (M.D.) Joao Lopes 
Kodrigues, who had graduated at Eio de Janeiro, and had settled 

* In 1852-54 M. Halfeld makes the 34,5007, ; balance in favour of the latter, 
exports reach a value of 21,200/. ; imports, 13,300/. 


at Carunhanlia. No one had the indecenc}- to ask him the reason 
why ; he complained of the Preguiea do Sertao — -the idleness of 
the wild country — and of stunulns heing totally wanted, except 
when a stranger happens to pass. I have heard the same m 
Dublin society ; possibly Dr. Eodrigues, like a certain Abyssinian 
traveller, found *' making up his mind " a severe and protracted 
process. He had suifered from the climate of the River Valley, 
alwaj's cold-dami) or hot-damp, so different from the dry air 
and sweet waters of the sandy table-lands on both sides of, 
and generally at short distances from, the river. He had none of 
the pretentious manner and address usually adopted by the 
Bahiano, who holds himself the cream of Brazilian cream, and 
he readily accepted a passage in the raft to his home, about two 
miles dovm. stream. 

The denizens of the Malhada have a fever- stricken look, and 
their lips are bistre-coloured as tlieh- faces. Yet within the 
houses we heard singing and clapping of hands, after the fashion 
of Guinea ; and, as we embarked, a Httle crowd of women col- 
lected to prospect us. The dress was a skirt of light chmtz or 
calico, a chemise or rather a slurt, generally a shawl, and above 
and below comb or kerchief, and slippers. 

We dropped down the still fierce stream, here treacherous and 
much dreaded. The strong up-draught often keeps craft in port 
for fourteen days ; they load hea^-ily, and the waves are likely to 
damage the cargo. The weather looked especially ugly, but our 
companion consoled us by declaring that we were fast outstrip- 
ping the rains. Here showers had begun to fall only five daj^s 
ago, and were called *' chuvas de enramar," of branching. The 
wet season will not set in till November, when the Vento Geral 
will shift to the south, the normal quarter. We escaped swamp- 
ing with some difficulty, and presently reached the head of the 
Ilha da Carunhanlia, which splits the stream into two channels of 
about equal deiDth.*' The com'se of the river is here to the north- 
east, and the western arm is apparently ^\idening ; formerly' 
children could swim across it. The islet is about two miles 
long, sandy, but of admirable fertility. It grows fine cotton, and 
as upon the Sao Francisco, lower down, manioc planted during 
the Vasante Geral (March and April), produces a large root 

* ]\r. Halfeld remarks that the right eastern bank is only half the height of the 
channel is low and full of shallows. The western. 


fit for farinlia before the flood-time ill November and December. 
Here is a good site for a bridge to connect Minas with 

At the landing-phice are large blocks of Pissarra or Saibro do 
Rio, a felspathic clay, yellow-tinged with iron ; this bank is 55 
to 75 feet high, or 5 to 25 feet high above the annual rise. It 
is, however, much cut up by a surface drain, now an Esbar- 
rancado, but a Corrego during the rains, dividing it into waves of 
high and low ground, and loudly calling for a levee. Sao Jose 
da Carunhanha is a larger place than it appears from up-stream ; 
there are some 450 houses,* none double-storied, and mostly 
flanked by the Gupiara or Agua furtada. Though noble timber 
is here, the wood-work is mostl}^ sticks. Young cocoa-nut trees 
grow well in the court-yards, and the produce of the adult in 
this saline nitrous soil is 200 nuts per annum. 

In the north of the town we found an enormous square, the 
Largo do Socavem ; t it has a cross and symptoms of a chaiDel. 
Bej'ond the settlement a Sangradouro with a sandy bed, based 
on hard reddish clay, breaks the bank with a gap some fifty 
yards broad, and the floods form a back-water which does 
not extend far. The best houses are in the southern square, 
where fewer people squat on logs before their doors ; there is 
a Camara and a prison ; in the latter our Januaria man 
found a friend who had been resident for nearly four years, 
after kniving a brother boatman in a drunken quarrel. The 
Matriz of Sao Jose da Carunhanha suggests nothing but an 
old termitarium, yet it has a bell which sounded for us the 

It now becomes diflicult to collect local information. The 
great Province of Bahia is behind most of her rivals in i)opular 
toi^ograj^hical works, and those which she i^ossesses are too cum- 
brous and discursive for the traveller, whilst Minas Geraes has 
her Almanaks, and Sao Paulo has two handbooks. Carunhanha, 
dismembered from the Allla da Barra, rose to township thirty 
years ago, and is now capital of the Comarca of Urubu in the Bahia 
Province. Its municipality formerly extended to the Bio das 
Egoas, the western branch of the Paracatu ; here, however, a 
villa has lately been established under the name of N'^ S'^ da 

* In 1852 there were 265. but none of tlie Carunhanha people knew 

t It is the name of a town in Portngal, wliat it meant. 


Glona do Rio das Egoas. This mimicipio still numbers about 
10,000 souls, of whom 1000 to 1200 are in the town ; slaves are 
rare, and few fazendeii'os have more than 40 to 50 head. The post 
arrives three times a month,* and each side of the river has a 
fair-weather road to Januaria — distant thirty leagues.! The prin- 
cipal imports are from Joazeiro, and include salt and diy and wet 
goods. There are no rich men, and the chief people breed 
cattle for export. They also send " sola "-leather, hides — 
here worth each 1 $ 250, and at least double below Joazeiro — 
a Httle sugar and dried fish. The land would produce rice 
and cotton in abundance. Hereabouts also the Geraes grow 
a medicinal root known all down the river as Calemba or 
Calunga. I 

Dr. Rodrigues led us to his house in the square, and offered 
us the luxuries of sofa and rocking chaii', wax candles, and a 
map of the war — moreover he gave me his photograph. I sent 
an introductory letter to the Delegate of PoHce, Capitao Theo- 
tonio de Sousa Lima. That young man did not even return a mes- 
sage ; possibly he, a Liberal, had seen us walking with the doctor, 
a Conservative. Again the stranger was tempted to exclaim, 
*' Confound their politics!" Unfortunately for us, the Juiz de 
Du-eito of the Comarca, Dr. Antonio Luis Affonso de Carvallio, 
was on leave at Bahia ; all spoke well of this distinguished 

We reached the raft in time to prepare for a night of devilry 
let loose. A cold wind from the north rushed through the hot 
air, and precipitated a deluge in embryo. Then the gale chopped 
round to the south, and produced another and a yet fiercer do's\Ti- 
fall. A treacherous lull and all began again, the wmd howling 
and screaming from the east. The thunder roared and the light- 
ning flashed from all directions ; the stream rose in wavelets, 

* The 5th, the 15th, and the 25th are It is mentioned by St. Hil. (III. i. 164-5). 

the days appointed, and this tri-monthly The System (p. 93) calls it herva amargosa 

delivery is- the rule of the river. Of course (Simaba ferruginea or Pichrodendron Ca- 

punctuality is not to be expected. lunga). The bark of the root and trunk of 

t The reaches will now become straight, this Rutacea, which is much valued as a 

and the land routes, which everpvhere simple, has an unpleasant, bitter, acrid, 

connect, are but little shorter than the and astringent taste ; it is stomachic and 

water lines. anti-febrile. I heard it everywhere spoken 

t Probably the word is taken from the of, but no specimen was procurable under 

African Colombo or Calomba (Cocculus pal- a couple of days' delay, 
matus), which gives the ra<lix Colombo. 




which washed over the " Eliza " and shook her by the bumping 
of the tender-canoe. At last, just before day-break, the crisis 
took place, and we snatched a few minutes of such sleep as hot 
heads and cold feet, and dogs persistently baying at the weather, 
would permit, 


FouETH Travessia, 2-i^ Leagues. 


. . . lapa que esconde alto mysterio. 

Caram7/t% 7, 8. 

Michaelmas Day found us gooseless, Avorn out and cross ; the 
song was hushed, and silenced was the voice of chaff. After a 
couple of dull leagues we reached the Lugar da Cachoeii'a, famed 
for pottery. The clay is made into neat tallias (jars) and quar- 
tinhas (guggiets), ornamented with red taua, placed upon the 
naturally yellow groundwork hefore burnmg. What is here bought 
for two coppers fetches six at Joazeiro ; our men made a small 
pui'chase, and the prospect revived their spii'its. The Cachoeii'a 
took its name from a ridge of rock forming a diagonal rapid across 
the stream. A sand-bar has now been thrown up, and we passed 
over the place ignoring its old break. On the left bank, which 
rises above the floods, and which is drained by two ^' bleeders," 
there are a few huts. Further do^^i is the Fazenda dos Angicos,* 
where the yellow variet}- of Acacia is common. 

We halted at noon on the left bank near the Fazenda do 
Espiiito Santo ; it has a large grove of Joazeiro or Jujube trees, 
whose bark is sold for tanning. The straight reaches, some twenty 

* M. Halfeld, I liave remarked, calls or agriciiltui-al establishment, often con- 
villages (povoagoes) what the pilots speak taining a little chapel and a dozen huts 
of as fazendas. The words are here nearly belonging to as many proprietors in part- 
synonyroous ; the fazenda is a breeding nership. 


miles long, and the narrowness of the stream, 1460 feet, greatly- 
increase its flow, which averaged three knots an hour. The morn- 
ing rain had diminished to a spitting, but a strong wind came up 
from the south and played about the west. Here the people do 
not shout 

Honor be to Mudjekeewis, 

who is also of the Pau-puk-Keewis f\miily. These signs and 
symptoms induced the men to caulk the port canoe, wdiich had 
scraped bottom till the cracks formed a leak. At 3 p.m. we had 
to repeat the operation on a large praia to the right, opposite 
the Fazenda das Pedras. Here we found bits of pure saltpetre, 
and a trunk of Brauna tree almost lignite, while the diamantine 
*' formacao " appeared under water, between wind and water, and 
above water. About 5 p.m. we "knocked off work" at a long 
beach near the mouth of the Parateca ; * called a river, it is a 
mere streamlet, a fillet of water now coursing down the right 
bank, and even during the floods it admits canoes for only two 
leagues. A barque and sundry dug-outs were being repaired by a 
dark carpenter, who told us five lies in three minutes, and wdio 
apparently would have ridden twenty leagues to unburden him- 
self. He pointed to the " finest place on the Sao Francisco," 
the Barra da Yj)oeii'a on the Pernambuco, as the boatmen still 
call the now Bahian bank. It was the usual high bluff, red above, 
white below, with sand up-stream and bush down-stream. The 
neat huts upon the level ground reminded me by their small size 
and " natty " look of the pretty one-street villages on the Old 
Calabar and the Gaboon Rivers. 

Sept. 30. — Durmg the night rain fell again. At dawn, low, 
mist-laden clouds lay heavy where Carunhanha was, and lighter 
vapom-s coursed from south-east to north-west,but far behind us. 
Presently the climate became that of Malabar, and before 8 
the pilot actually removed his black coat. About noon a strong 
southerly breeze swept through the well- washed atmosphere. 
There was nimbus to the south as well as to the north, but we 
were not molested, and the weather was peculiarly comfortable 
and good for work. It was a '' dies notanda," this our first fine 
day upon the Pio de Sao Francisco. 

Tljis sitreaiu ulso sliows si^ins of diainonds in its sandbanks. 


We set out at 5 a.m., and, after passing the usual features,* we 
landed at 7.30 below the Sangradouro da Volta de Cmia to 
inspect the large E. Ramalho, which in ]\Ir. Keith Johnston here 
enters from the west. Xothing appeared but a mere ditch, a 
Eiacho.f Most men agreed that the Rio do Ramallio is a branch 
of the Rio do Corrente, further down stream. Hence, possibly, 
the confusion in our maps, which give a Rio Corrente entering 
tlie imaginary Ramalho, and to the north a Rio Correntes, which 
is the true Rio do Corrente. The beach again afforded good 
sign of diamonds, including the cattivo, the crj^stal, and the 
canga-stone. Barboza, '' Barba de Veneno," picked up a wax 
foot, some yotiye offering that had remained here en route to the 
Bom Jesus. He forgot to leave it at the shrine, and thus all 
our little accidents and evils were chaffingiy attributed to him. 

We passed in succession the Barra do Riacho das Raas, from 
the right, and the Pitubinha and Pituba, formerly Fazendas. The 
Rio das Raas, also on the east, is a mere rivulet, whose waters are 
said to be fetid. The opposite side showed a regular and tabular 
bank of soft greensward, adorned with tall trees. At the Ilha da 
Coroa Grande, a sand-bar and clump of vegetation, there was a 
shallow and a tide-rij). We took the right channel, and both 
abound in snags. Of this part M. Halfeld says, " there are many 
ca3Taans (Jacares), of ashen-brown colour, and one with a yellow 
throat, called the Ururau, which is the Crocodile (!) I Frightful 
numbers appeared, and my boats were surrounded by more than 
thii'ty." He also mentions Capivaras, which similarly have 
"made tracks." 

About the " Frogs' River " we sighted a long blue range per- 
pendicular to the stream, and extending far inland. § At its 
mouth was the Ilha da Batalha, a memento of some forgotten 
struggle with the wild men. At 3.30 we passed the Ilha da Boa 
Yista, a sand-bar in mid-stream. On the left bank was the 

* A gTeeu islet on tlie Peruam side Ramallio Riviilet exists near Pitubinha. M. 

leads to "As Barreiras," a red bhiff, wavj' Halfeld shoAvs a drain, but does not name 

in outline with ijrojections and bays ; the it. 

central depression is the only part subject + This is probably the Jacare de papo 

to the "tip over" during floods. Then amarello (yellow-throated cayman), which 

appeared the Ilha da yolta de Cima, where is su^^posed to be more dangerous than the 

the stream bends to the east-noi-th-east ; it common Crocodilus sclei-ops. I do not know 

is a strip of yellow-gi-een vegetation, with whether there be, as has been suspected, 

its ruddy bluli' a league long, and its San- any specific difference between the two. 
gradouro. § Mr. Keith Johnston's map places along 

+ Some authorities told me that a little the stream a range which does not exist. 

286 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BKAZiL. [vuxf. xix. 

Fazenda of the same name. Here in old colonial times began 
the enormous property of a Portuguese, known onh^ as the Conde 
da Ponte ; the family has long left the river. The Fazenda da 
Boa Vista afterwards belonged to the *' Assassin" (Antonio Jose) 
Guimaraes, who sixteen years ago murdered his brother, the 
Commandant Superior Jose Guimaraes. He w^as afterwards killed 
in Goj^az, it is said by a party of mule-trooj^ers. A canoe was 
fastened to the bank, and w^e counted twenty huts, faced by a tall 
thin wooden cross. The men indolently stretched under the 
trees, reiolied gruffly to the extempore songs and bawling chorus 
of my crew. Here they are contented with a curral or fenced 
enclosure for their animals when driven from pasture, with railed- 
off plots of manioc and corn, melons running over the sand, and 
in rare places with a few stems of arboreous cotton. The furni- 
ture of the tiled hut is a girao or cot, a sleeping-hide, a few 
benches, riduig apparatus, wooden bowls and cooking pots, whilst 
the gun and the line never allow them to see the face of hunger. 
These are humble comforts, but thej^ far exceed those attainable 
by the dwellers about the Great Rapids. The wigwam was as 
w^ell furnished, even to the w^ooden ferule for thrashing the women, 
which hung to the ceiling. 

Near the Fazenda da Volta de Baixo, on the right bank, we 
heard the dash of falhng water, and at 5.30 p.:m. we landed for the 
night upon one of the three " Illias do Campo largo." The clear 
dry minute sand crunched with a peculiar chipping sound, like 
snow under foot-friction ; and here again diamantine deposits lay 
in lines parallel with the water. AVe are now in about the 
latitude of the Serra das Almas, whose eastern horn, the Serra 
de Sincora, is one of the richest diamond districts in the Brazil. 
And it is evident from the state of the sand that it has floated 
from afar. 

Oct. 1. — During the night the water fell, and we had some 
delay in pushing off. Observing the cirrus and cirro-cumulus 
high in au-, the pilot quoted a proverb similar to om' own.* 
The channel between the sand-bar was very foul with timber. 
On the right was the head of the Ypoeira or baj^ou, which spreads 
out into a little lake about its central course, and returns to the 

* Ceo ])C(hcuto, A .stone-paved .sky, lain or vincl hi^li, 

Oil clmva oil vciito. or change to diy, 

Oh nuulanria de tciniio. 


main artery above the " Lapa." Below it is the Ilha do Medo — 
of Fear — another reminiscence of the dark and bloody days. As 
we bent to the right, or north-east, the Serrote da Lapa rose tall 
and abrupt over the vegetation based on the river sand. Above 
them was a slight central depression, and a yellow gash noted 
the position of the mysterious cave. Below it ran diagonally to 
the stream a thick avenue of Jacare * and other trees, showing 
where the bayou re-enters the parent stream. 

As we advanced northwards, the Serrote \iewed from the west 
changed its form to that of a headless sphynx, or a crouching 
lion, the popular comparison. And now we could distinguish the 
peculiarities of a scene, whose novelty has raised it to sanctity. 
It is the mere skeleton of a mountain, disposed with a north-east 
to south-west trend, and Ijing lone upon a dead level. It is 
remarkable for perpendicular Hues bristhng against the an*, mth 
ribs which resemble finials or pmnacles. The sides, fretted and 
jagged like the flying buttresses of a Gothic temple, are cut up 
into salient angles, and are sharp-pointed by weathermg. It has 
cleavage rather than stratification ; deep black cracks, at altitudes 
varying from ten to thii'ty feet, run horizontall}', forming gigantic 
coiu'ses of masonrv. On the north-eastern side these com'ses 
are slightly dislocated, dipping towards a bushy depression in the 
centre. The south-western end is a vertical precipice, with a 
long broad yellow stripe, where the stone had been removed. 
The colom' of the mass generally is grey-slate, breaking blue, 
with fine crystals of the whitest calcaire. ! 

A few tiled roofs, and one white-washed house, rismg in their 
line at the hill base above the trees and shrubs, directed us to 
the Port. We landed on the right jaw of the bayou, which 
dm'ing the floods becomes a harbour of refuge. A tall bank, 
much water-waslied, led to a plain groAm ^\ grass, shrubs, and 
tall trees ; one of the latter, an acacia, with golden blossoms, 
emitted a heavy cloying scent. Deep pits, cut for adobes, showed 
the nature of the gTound, sand and clay, with scatters of lime- 
stone. Hence cultivation here flourishes ; the people plant garlic 
and onions, melons and water-melons, pumpkins-^especially the 

^ So called from iU rough :-oaly bark ; feet long. 
the ■word ih possilily a eoutraction of Jacare f Colonel Accioli calls it a graaitic foi'- 

ihi;a (or iga, a canoe !), -svhich supplied the umtion ; it is, ho^^ever, all limestone. 
"Indians" v%-ith du^-outs twentv to thirtv 


Girimu — haricots, and the castor bean, Quiabos or Hibiscus ; 
rice, and a little maize, sweet potatos, and excellent cotton. We 
also passed a well-railed field, whose freshly-cut grass preserved 
the aroma of ha}-. 

Presently we entered the settlement, which is detestably situa- 
ted ; even the African avoids the vicinity of great rocks. Here 
eighteen houses, disposed in arch-shape, front towards an un- 
finished church, which stands at the base of the great stone pile. 
They are all of the ground-floor order, built upon foundations of 
rough limestone ; and one is solidly made, with attempts at 
pilasters. The total of the tenements may number 200, and, as all 
are inhabited, the population cannot be less than 1000 souls.* 
AVe found fresh meat, and bought tiinoca cakes, whilst every 
vendor applied to us for medicine. We can hardly wonder that 
the}^ suffer from psoriasis, cutaneous eruptions, terrible fevers, and 
inflammations of the spleen (opilacoes). Besides the limestone 
reverberator, they have the full benefit of a large Ypoeira swamp. 
Thus the stone raises the temperature of the air, and the heavier 
marsh poison rushes in to supply its place. 

At the crescent a party of pilgrims were mounting their 
animals, and were being dismissed with a " Bom Jesus da Lapa 
guide ye ! " We walked to the south-west, noticing in the 
occidental face of the buttress several ogival entrances, doubtless 
natural. In the higher levels, wherever the rock had been 
degraded to soil, trees displayed the filmy light-green foliage of 
spring ; the most conspicuous were the Joazeiro, the Angico, and 
the delicate Pitombeira myrtle. The stone was clad with lichens 
and air-plants grey as itself. At the south-western end is the 
tallest bluff", which contains the grotto. Here a huge column, 
horizontally fractured in three places, and separated from the 
main wall by a perpendicular fissure, threatens to fall. At the 
cliff'-foot is the Ypoeira channel, and here large fragments of 
limestone, cut into curious shapes by the water, block up the 
ledge which once allow^ed a path. 

Six rough steps of blue limestone lead up to the Lapa, which 
faces west. A stout wooden door, with ponderous lock, and 
above it two shuttered windows, Avith ''rose-light" and drain 

M. Ilah'clcl says l28 Jiouscs aud 250 souls, a very unusucil proportion, except 
where alj^enteeism is the rule. 


pipe, are flanked by thin pilasters of the burnt brick and lime 
composing the entrance. Inside, ten steps of brick, placed 
edgeways, and dangerously narrow for crippled devotees, admit to 
the body of the Holy Grotto. I looked in vain for aught to 
justif}' the vivid imagination of Rocha Pitta, which saw here an 
entrance large enough for a city, a stone bell * made by Nature's 
hand, marvellous columns of stalactite, and a high altar with 
collateral shrines ready for human use. 

The Cavern, a very vulgar feature, bends to the right, and 
extends forty paces in depth, widening from ten to twenty paces 
at the far end. The floor is of tamped earth, which, being like 
all the Serra, mu'aculous, is collected by coloured people to be 
used as medicine. It is the sovereignest thmg for a headache. 
Near the entrance the ceiling is flat, water-w©rn, and smoke- 
blackened; over the shrine it is somewhat arched. Down the 
length of the blue limestone runs a light-yellow band, forming 
truncated stalactites. In the vicinity of the steps there is a 
stalagmite resembHng a Hindoo " lingam." The narrower end, 
and both sides of the grotto, are supported with masonry. On 
the left of one advancing towards the altar, wooden steps lead to 
a box covered with red silk, and lace fringed with cloth. The 
awnmg of this pulpit is a projectmg ledge of stone. Further on 
is a shallow recess in which some hermit has been buried. Op- 
posite it, at the broadest part of the tunnel, projects the varanda 
or balcony, a natural opening in the wall. Here, upon a bench, 
lounged a few idlers, chiefly negroes, enjoying the fresh draught 
from the green-avenued bayou below. The atmosphere reminded 
me of Yambii, yet the thermometer showed only 85° (F.) f 

The high altar is at the further and broader end of the Cave. 
It is approached by a raised i)latform of dislocated wooden 
oblongs, showing old graves. The shrine is fronted by a tall 
central arch, between two of smaller size, all three lined with 
painted wood, and hung with ex-votos. That to the right opens 
ui)on a narrow passage behind the adytum ; the ascent is bad, 
the boarded floor threatens to fall, and there is an odour of 
death — perhaps the calcaire may be of that kind vulgarly called 

* Meaning, I presume, a thin plate of + ]\L Halfeld found it 95° (F.), nearly 

stone, which could be used like a gong. blood-heat. The bats of which he com- 

The only bells now are two small articles, plains have disappeared, leaving no sign, 

hung to the usual wooden gallows, and pro- and the dead are no longer buried within 

tected by a small tiled roof. the cave. 



" stiiikstone." The left arcliway is the mouth of a recess heaped 
up with heads and faces, arms and legs of beeswax, and other 
offerings which commemorate the sanative powers of the spot. 

In the highest part, under the central arch, and protected by a 
wooden tunnel ceiling, stands the Senlior Bom Jesus da Lapa. 
The little crucifix is, to judge by the ghastly style of the colour- 
ing, modern. A polite devotee assured me that it had been found 
here, and that, despite m-any attempts, no one had ever been able 
to remove it.* Upon the ledge at its feet are statuettes and two 
candles burnmg. On the altar below there are more images, and 
six lights, whilst a massive and expensive silver lamp, bought at 
Bahia, hangs from the ceiling outside. Be^'ond the railings of 
painted wood stand portable chapels of Nossa Senhoras, each 
about ten feet high, sentinelling the shrine. Also, most impor- 
tant of all, a strong box of iron, labelled in the largest letters, 
''Papel — Cobre," catches the first glance. 

This place of pilgrimage has the highest possible reputation ; 
devotees flock to it from all directions, and from great distances, 
even from Piauhy. Sometimes there may be a crowd of 400 
visitors, t The average daily receipts, I was told, amount to 
20 §000, and on Sundays to 50^000. The "esmolas " are paid 
to a certain Lieut. -Colonel Francisco Teixeira, who is the Pro- 
curador of the shrine. My crew when exhorted to visitation, 
lest they should call then- employer " herege," pleaded " who 
prays, pays." They went, however, and the pilot gave fourteen 
vintens, the rest two. I left something at the foot of the crucifix ; 
the old Sacristan did not readily find it, and he hurriedly sent a 
message, asking the amount of my alms. 

We left the fane very little impressed, except by the damp 
heat. Our next step was to the Porto, on the right bank of 
Ypoeira. This is the seat of trade. We found a few houses, 
half-a-dozen sheds, one barca and five canoes. The principal 
industry is making saltpetre, which is here found in quantities 
at the south-eastern side of the Serrote. It is a constituent of 
all these calcareous soils, the effect of atmospheric air decomj)os- 
ing the limestone. The process of extracting it is a mere 

Thus, at Cairo and in other Moslem choosing its own sepulture, and becomes so 

cities, tombs are seen let into tlie walls of heavy that none can carry it. 

the domiciles. This is where the bier- t From Jannaria the best road is on the 

bearers have been unable to contend with eastern bank of the river. 
an obstinate corpse, which insists upon 


lixiviation ; the cliocolate-coloured earth, mixed with stone, is 
thrown into a bangiie or strainer. This is generally a square 
l)yramid of boarding, with the base upwards, equally useful for 
extracting saltpetre or soap-lj^e. The poorer people use a hide, 
supported by four uprights, and both act like jellj^-bags. When 
exhausted with hot water, the nitrous particles find their way, 
duly filtered, through a tube leading to a '' Coche " or trough, 
often a bit of old canoe. The '' decoada," as it is now called, 
is a thin greenish liquid, which must be boiled in a ''tacho," or 
metal pan, like that used for sugar. This '' tacho " is sometimes 
mounted upon an ant hill. It is purified by repeating the pro- 
cess, and it appears in regular six-sided columns of yellow-white 
colour. The price is here six coppers ; on the Upper Rio das 
Yellias it sells for 10 §000 per arroba. In the Sertao saltpetre is 
used medicinally for nitre. My specimens were unfortunately lost, 
and I cannot decide whether the material is or is not the nitrate 
of soda like that of Chile, which though usefully employed in 
composts and nitric acid works, attracts so much damp, that it is 
of little value for making gunpowder.* 

We introduced ourselves to the Yicar, the Rev. Francisco de 
Freitas Soueu'o, a native of Lamego, near Douro. He spoke 
with great reserve about the miracles of the place, and declared 
that the image must be some 100 years old. The Lapa Sanctuary, 
hovrever, dates from 1701, and was founded by a Lisbonese, the 
Padre Francisco de Mendonca (alias da Soledade), a man of con- 
siderable property. He set up the figures of N'^ S^ da Bom 
Jesus, andX'^S'da Soledade, and the Archbishop D. Sebastio 
Monteiro da Vide,t after sending to it a Visitant, made the Lapa 
a chapel, and the Padre its priest. 

By no means so reticent or so sensible was the Padre Baldoino 
of the Villa da Barra, who was calling upon the Vicar. He 
gravely assured me that all the Serrote was blessed by Heaven, 
and consequently that it must contain gold and diamonds. The 
crucifix, he said, was at least 367 A'ears old — about the date when 
the Brazil was discovered — and was worshipped by the wild 
people before it was found by Christians. His red face became 

* Contraband gunpowder lias, however, de Janeiro. A lately-mide analysis of tlie 

often been made with saltpetre brought brown Bahian saltpetre gives a fair account 

from ]\Iinas, even in the daj^s when the of it. 

former was a royal monopoly; the latter + This ecclesiastic issued the " Consti- 

in 1816 sold for 4$ 6(H) per arroba at Rio tutions " of lUhia in 1707. 

\- 2 

•292 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. xix. 

redder when I asked him if another woukl not do as well. He 
declared, with various inuendoes, that the efficiency resides in 
that particular figure ; that it was the work of a miracle ; that it 
was formed by a miracle, and that by a miracle it remains. Sub- 
stitute for it anything else, and all virtue departs from the Lapa. 
I afterwards heard that this reverend was once a person of fair 
attainments, but that his devotion to Bacchus had dislodged part 
of his intellect. 

The Vicar had lately recovered from an abscess in the leg, 
which, despite Lanman and Kemp's Salsaparilla, had nearly 
killed him. When we spoke of ascending the Serrote, he con- 
cealed his ailments, and offered to guide us. He proved himself 
a good man, and actually climbed up in his slippers. At the 
base of the hill began a thin grove of Xique-Xique, here a kind 
of Cansancao or Jatropha urens. This is a tall shrub, with 
patches of sharp and venomous thorns radiating from common 
centres. It extends to the summit in clumps, and is much feared 
by the people. Another unpleasant growth is a small Bromelia, 
with cruel serrations. In the lower part I found sundry young 
shells of a pink-lipped Achatina (No. 2), which here grows to 
a large size. John Maw^e (i. Chap. 12) records his astonish- 
ment at seeing the eggs laid by this '' new variety of helix." 
The air was perfumed with the odour of peppermint from a bright 
blue floweret, which seemed to have no name. We ascended the 
wooded central depression on the western side, behind the main 
bluff", and a steep rough path had been w^orn by the fuel-seeker. 
In the shade the thermometer was 94° (F.) The small red ant 
stung viciously, and huge iguanas eyed us as if the lazy things 
disdained^to run ^way. We found adhering to the lime a hard 
red sandstone, with black spots like syenite, and silex with a 
conchoidal fracture, which had the tint and the compactness of 
Rosso Antico.* 

Beaching the summit of the guile}', we started flights of urubiis, 
which had whitened the pinnacle tops. Here there is no soil 
except where the rock is resolved into its original elements. The 
jagged surface is like the waves of a cross sea, and in places it 
looks as though rain-drops had s^^lashed upon a soft substance. 

This appeared to he a sign of igneous stone and conglomerate scattered about tlie 
action ; our glasses could detect no signs of base suggested exposiire to heat, 
shell in the liiuestone ; and the glazed iron 


A rude triangulation fi'om below liad given 150 feet, a total of 
about 180 above the stream.* Between the thorns we enjoyed a 
noble view of the Sao Francisco, whose inundations extend in 
places three leagues across. The broad band which glittered in 
the sun with silver and gold winds in majestic sweeps round the 
Island of Bom Jesus, the well-cultivated " Canabrava," and the 
"Itaberava," or Shining Stone.! On the north is a blue knob, 
the Brejo de Sao Gon^alo, beyond the Rio do Corrente, and to 
the north-east a long purple line, the Serra do Bom Jardim, and 
the two low domes, near Urubu. Nearer is the Fazenda of 
Itaberava, where only the stream-edge is flooded; its green 
pastures are rich in horses and black cattle. And at our feet lies 
the village, with its three small streets branching from their 
nucleus, the square. 

In this grand lump of limestone there is sign of convulsion 
or catastrophe. The growth or upheaval must have been so 
gradual, that the long horizontal lines are still hardly broken. 
It is greatly to be desired that some catastrophist, T^Titing upon 
" geological d^mamics," would state i:)recisely the ground upon 
which he believes that the ancient oscillations, dislocations, and 
inversions of strata are not wholly explicable by existing phe- 
nomena, with the Hindu ages and the Tropical and glacial epochs 
behind them. And when the Uniformitarians shall have won the 
day — and I presume that the believers in continuity, in the 
" orderly mechanism " of slow and long-continued movements 
broken by periodical paroxysms, will win it, seeing how much 
they have already won I — it is to be hoped that they will do 
better than the Cosmos, which includes under vulcanism, or 
vulcanacity, " crust-motion," together with earthquakes and 
volcanoes. Archeus has been proposed for the honour of naming 
that slow growth which belongs to the earth as to other inanimate 
things ; so has Ennosig?eus. We want something which does not 
hail quite so far back. 

* !M. Halfeld gives 240 palms (—172 earth had daslie J to pieces some minor star 

feet). or planet. This is but a modification of 

+ Itaberava or Itaberaba " pedra que that semi-barbarism which sees in the 

liiz," is, according to Rocha Pitta, the world-plan disorder and destruction, the 

name of the whole Lapa. The Fazenda work of offended deities. Buckle (i. 800) 

formerly belonged to the Conde da Ponte. complains, with feeling, that many men of 

J In the beginning of the present cen- science are still fettered in geology by the 

tury, M. Boubee and others explained the hypothesis of catastrophes ; in chemistry, 

appearance of aerolites, erratic blocks, and by«fche h}itothesis of vital forces. 
similar "problems," by supposing tliat the 




Fifth Teavessia, 2G^ Leagues. 


Os tres reinos aqui que a opulencia, 
E bases sao da humana subsistencia, 
Em Minas e animaes e vegetantes, 
Tao uberrimos sao e tao patentes, 
Que nao resolve a subida subtileza 
Por onde niais pendeo a natureza. 

Fret F. do S. Carlos Assiinqjqao, Canto G. 

AVe bade adieu to the good Yicar and resumed our journey, 
although it was already late. Presently a bad storm followed the 
sultry '' Morma^o," or stillness of the atmosphere, and came rush- 
ing up from the south. The lightning, seen through the rain, 
appeared a white fire, whereas it was remarkably pink in the dry 
air. Dripping with wet, and anything but merry, we made fast, 
at nightfall, to the Sitio do Mato, a well- cultivated island ; we 
fed and we " turned in," to "bless the man who invented sleep." 
Mixed with the sounds of mankind, the cry of the night heron 
resembled that of the ounce, and the fish splashed a treble to the 
grim bass of the falling banks. 

Wednesday, October 2, 1867. — Cirrus again and ''mackerel's 
back " prepared us for more bad weather. AVe set out, hoAvever, 
at 4*45 A.M., and ran down the island which had sheltered us ; 
it thinned out and showed an even richer cultivation than above. 
At the bottom of a high bank on the left, came in the Rio do 


Corrente,* so called from the swift currents which sweep round 
the salient angle. We crossed the mouth, some 500 feet broad, 
of this great stream, wliich here runs from west to east ; its right 
jav/ projects in a long sand-bar, and a dark avenue in its left 
cheek shows the line of an affluent, the Pdacho da Barra. 

Below the port, which is flooded, the bank rises 35 feet, 
driving the main stream to the north-east. The high ground is 
divided into two waves, and, in the hollow between them, is the 
manga or kraal for cattle, communicating with the ajojo raft, 
which passes them over for Sincora and the Bahian Chapada. 
Above rises the village Sitio do Mato, running nearly north and 
south, a Ime of mud huts and three whitewashed tenements. 
AVe landed below it upon Taua, a stiff white clay, underlying a 
steep, sandy ramp. Opposite was the flash house — roof-corners 
adorned with pigeons of white plaster and so forth — belonging 
to a cattle breeder, Theodoro Antonio de Oliveira. He tm^ned 
his back to us, as we were walldng past him, and, of course, he 
was a " cabra "or a '^ bode," probably the latter. Fm-ther to 
the north is a tiled shed covering, a portable chapel and a cross, 
with its sudarium ; behind it lies the railed cemetery, and a heap 
of adobes, intended for a mortuar}" sacellum, whose beginnings 
were washed away in 1860. 

Inland, the bush extends up to the settlement, and the out- 
h'ing lands are said to be good for cotton and castor. West- 
ward, and not in sight, rises a range known as '' A Bibeii^a; " f 
between it and the village are many lakelets and j^ioeiras, which 
do not recommend the ''Sitio do Mato" for a future capital. 
The tillage proper is to the south ; here the floods enter between 
the waves of ground, and extend to the habitations behind the 
" manga." The small industries are cotton-spinning and making 
soap-lye; we shall now find the " bangue " ever3'where ; the 
animals are barking curs, and pigs, and poultry, especially 
tm-keys. When we wanted to buy fish, the fisherman refused to 
sell, saymg that he had a large family ; and under a shady 
Joazeii'o tree we found, in excellent repair, the good old 

* This gi-eat influent drains the meri- tivated. One of its many tributories is the 

dional spine that separates Bahia and Gro- northern Rio das Egnas, and this again has 

yaz. Boats navigate it, despite snags, as a considerable influent, the Rio Acanhuao. 
far as the Porto de Santa Mai-ia, 28 leagues f The right bank showed a long blue 

from the mouth ; the banks are said to be range which the people called de Sant' 

grandly forested, and, in places, to be cul- Inofre (Onofre or Onofrio). 


" tronco,"* or village stocks, which have but lately disappeared 
from rural England. Here thej^ are two long boards, planted 
upright, and pierced with ten holes, accommodation for five men, 
" in log," as the Africans sa}'. At times it is used as a pillory, 
but the offence must be very grave. 

Pushing off from the Sitio do Mato, we found the water 
so deep that the pole would not touch bottom. The effect of 
the Corrente River is a great sack to the left, and then to the 
right. The eastern shore is only nine feet high, and the interior 
is still lower ; during the rains boats cut across country to the 
Villa de Urubu, despising the risk of submerged trees, and the 
annoyance of insects. On the side is the Fazenda da Bandeira, 
and below it, a section of the eastern shore, the large island of 
Santo Antonio,! from which another cross-cut, setting off north- 
east to Urubti, joins the other. An ostrich appeared, pacing 
along the shore, but the people have not yet learned to kill it for 
its feathers, t 

At 1*30, as we were going north with easting, opened up a 
full prospect of what we had dimly sighted for five hours, and 
wdiich prepared us for a change of country and chmate. On the 
left bank appeared a "neat's-tongue," projecting in regularly 
shaped treeless mounds of brown-red hue. This is a spur of 
the Serra Branca, which, according to M. Halfeld, is a calcareous 
range ; the specimens shown to me were sandstone grit revetted 
with quartz. § Behind the Serra begins the plateau known as 
the Alto do Paranan, rising almost imperceptibly towards the 
heights which feed that stream. Along the southern side of this 
neat's-foot begins the highway to Goyaz city,|| w^hich is here said 

* Trunco in St. Hil. (I. ii. 42 and III. civilized clays, when no head requires to weai- 

ii. 101), who describes it minutely, but the colours which Nature gave it, surely the 

makes it like the "Tornilho," a militai-y grey plume of the American bird may, by 

punishment, and refers to the neck being bleaching and dyeing, learn to pass off as an 

placed in the pillory. The invention is African. 

probably due to the Arabs, whose ' ' Ma- § The citizens of Urubu declare that 

kantarah " has extended to the Zanzibar from this Serra an old Minas negro, who 

coast in East Africa. was prosjiecting for gold, brought rounded 

+ Mr. Keith Johnston places on the right steely gi-ains, which in the cupel proved 

bank, about half way between the Lapa and refractory. The discoverer died, and the 

Urubu, the town of "Santo Antonio," discovery was lost on the road to Bahia. 

which is a mere fazenda or Sitio fronting its Platinum, of which the jjeople have seen lit- 

large island. tie and heard much, is naturally suspected. 

X The Welsh colony in Patagonia are II The country lying to the west of the 

buying, I am told, Ema feathers for three- city, is one of the few which the Brazil 

pence jjer pound, and expect to sell them still offers to the explorer, as opposed to 

in England for thirty shillings. In these the traveller. 


to be distant 150 leagues. The road is described as being safe, 
and abounding in game and water ; the sole inconvenience is a 
desert tract, 30 to 40 leagues broad, where provisions must be 
carried. On the right bank was the second distance, a straight 
blue wall, the Serra do Boqueirao, three leagues beyond Urubii ; 
and the third, still further east, consisted of a saddle-back, a 
ridge and two lumi:)y heads, parts of the Geraes attached to the 

Shortly afterwards, the left side, red above and white below 
showed the Povoado do Mangal, and its Rosario church, with 
falling front. Bej^ond its island the stream bent to the north- 
east, and already, behind a large central holm of vivid red, we 
descried the white dottings of a town. But now the effects of 
" mackerel's back " declared themselves. Boulder clouds surged 
up from west and south, hiding the hills with hangings of rain 
sheet. To the east appeared the ominous " Olho de Boi," or 
section of Iris that promised a " temporal." AVe made, with 
might and mam, the windward bank, where at 4*15 p.m., the 
roaring gale compelled us to anchor, and to bush the Eliza.* AVe 
passed a night of scanty comfort. The guinea-fowl clucked in 
the village till dawn, and there was another nuisance. Hitherto, 
we had slept near Coroas or Praias to avoid insects, which are 
very properly termed " immundicities." Here the weather com- 
pelled us to roost under a ridge, with a fall inland, a mere 
cattle-trail, and a rich breeding-ground for a small and almost 
minute mosquito, whose sting was like a needle-prick. As a rule 
the river has been wonderfully free from insects as from snags ; 
this part, however, is an exception. When we least wanted a 
calm, the gale fell dead, and when light was worthless, the stars 
hung like lustres from the cloudless sky. The pilots declared 
that we had escaped from the rains to fall into the power of the 
Avind ; it will be seen that they were right. Our course was 
against the sun, which will presently bring up with him wet 
weather, but the heavy showers, now falling behind us, must 
increase the evaporation, and open a way for the cool dry 

Oct. 3, 1867. — At earliest dawn began angry puffs from the red 

* To prevent the waves washing over yoxmg trees or leafy branches, which, fast- 
these shallow rafts, the pilots have the enecl alongside or to the bows, act as 
sensible practice of cutting off the heads of screens. 

298 THE HIGHLA^^DS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. xx. 

eastern sky, which was striped with cirri of a dull vermilion, and 
was mottled with clouds, standing out hard and solid as if cut 
in dark grey pai:»er. This appearance will soon become familiar, 
and cause many an impatient sigh. The stream turns nearly 
due east, so ever}^ capfull was a head-gale. On the left bank 
rose the Povoa^ao de Pernambuco, a hamlet of dingy huts nest- 
ling below the Ponto do Morro, the south-eastern buttress of the 
Serra Branca. Here the stream is broken into two arms b}^ the 
rich and fertile Ilha do Urubu, a mass of grass, bush, and trees, 
one league long, and shaped like a leg of mutton, with the 
knuckle-bone down stream. The left channel is the broader, 
the deeper, and the straighter ; we took the right, upon which 
the towai is built, and at once grounded upon a sand-reef. Both 
sides are low and liable to floods; on the right, at a "port," 
denoted onl}^ by women with water-pots, is the mouth of the 
Sangradouro, which, during rains, admits canoes to the Sitio de 
Santo Antonio. 

Presently we landed to inspect the town of Urubu, the 
" Gallinazo," the turkey buzzard. The riverine plain is here 
low and caked with mud, soon trodden to impalpable silt. A 
bush of the " Araticum " Annona — here the people mention three 
varieties of the shrub — shows the limits of the floods. Beyond 
it begins the vegetation of a dry and sterile land. I saw, for the 
first time, the "Favelleiro," that arboreous Jatropha, with 
sinuate leaves, described by Gardner. It varies between the size 
of a blackberry and an ai")ple tree, and the stiff, quaint look at 
once attracts the eye. The leaves, resembling those of the oak, 
but dangerous to touch on account of their cruel, poisonous 
thorns, are, as often happens amongst " Campo " plants, only 
terminal, not axile, and planted in tufts at the end of fat twigs. 
The leaves are used to narcotize water, and to catch birds ; the 
fruit, described as resembling that of the castor plant, supplies oil 
for the table. The rhubarb -coloured gum, with a faint perfume, is 
compared with gum arable, and the wood is made into spoons. The 
Aloe family musters strong, especially the " fedente babosa," 
wliich Liliacea can only be rendered " fetid slabber chops ; " 
the leaf-juice, mixed with oil, and called '' Azeite de babosa," is 
used to correct baldness. A flock of dirty-white sheep, whose 
fleeces were torn to rags by the thorns, wandered about, seeking 
what they could devour. 


A walk of 200 3'ards leads to the tov.ii, wliicli is the usual 
long, shallow Ime, fronting to the north-west. The items are 
chapels, adohe houses, palm-frond huts, railed compounds and 
rude gardens, in which the cocoa-nut, with its rounded tuft, rose 
consj)icuous. The mam street, the Rua de Sao Goncalo, runs 
along the whole length, and is raised ahove flood level. Two 
houses displayed the civilization of glass windows, amongst 
shutters, lattices, and squares of calico ; of those twain one was a 
Casa Nobre.* I sent in my letter to the Juiz de Direito, Dr. 
Joaquim Rodrigues Seixas, who asked us in, gave us coffee, and 
gallantly exposed himself to a well-furnished fire of questions. 

The judge complained that he had lost his memory by living in 
such a hole, and I can readily believe him. The climate, as so 
often happens m dry places, unpleasantly close to damp situa- 
tions, is dangerous. Fevers, or rather " chills," are mild, 
}T.elding easily to native practice, tartar emetic and quinine ; + 
they generally, however, end in spleen diseases. About August, 
l^leurisies are dangerous when treated with the popular simples, 
fatal when exposed to scientific practice of " lancers and 
leechers," copious blood-lettmg, tartar emetic, heavy doses of 
nitre, and ptisane of a certain emollient Hibiscus, I the only harm- 
less part of the '^cure." 

Santo Antonio de Urubii was formerly known as the Urubu de 
Cima, the upper turkey buzzard, opposed to the nether turkey 
buzzard (Urubii de Baixo), a pleasant name now changed to 
Propia or Propria, on the Lower Rio de Sao Francisco. Accord- 
ing to the citizens, this place began the diamantine discoveries, 
which presently sx:>read to the Chapada Diamantina, then in the 
district of the Yilla do Livramento do Pdo das Contas. It may 
be remarked, however, that in 1755, gems were discovered at 
Jacobina, on the eastern flank of the Bahian Chapada, and that 
the Prime Minister, Pombal, forbade the worldng of the vast 
buried' treasures, for fear of injuring agriculture. The effect of 
these davs of ignorance endured till 1837. 

* It belonged to Sr. Gualteiro Josd Gui- has clone mucli good by preaching against 

maraes, a merchant who at the time of the abuse, and by substituting pilules for 

our visit was pilgrimaging to the Lapa. doses of six to ten grains. 

+ Svdphate of quinine is much used in t Cozimento de Althea, which IMoraes 

the Brazil, and with little pinidence by the translates Malvaisco (Hibiscus^ The System 

people ; thus while it relieves one disease, (60) also gives Alcea, and describes the use 

it often brings on another. Honi'popathy of the Sida althseifolia. 


The judge congratulated himself upon the fact that, under his 
jurisdiction, there had been only four murders in four years. 
The municipality contains only 3051 voters ; in 1852 — 54, M. 
Half eld gave the district 731 fires, and 7204 of all sexes and 
ages. The town cannot contain more than 300 houses, and 
when full 1600 to 1700 inhabitants. They live and die in the 
greatest ignorance. I was astonished at the absence of all 
jn'ogress in these western outstations of the great Bahian Province, 
whose chief city was once the metropolis of the country, and 
whose seaboard is now one of the most prosperous and populous 
portions of the Empire. Everything that we see denotes 
poverty, meanness, and neglect ; a Fazenda in the interior of 
Sao Paulo or of Minas is equal to a town here ; and whilst the 
majestic Sao Francisco flows before these hovels, and there are 
excellent lines for routes both to the seaward and to the interior, 
the people have wholly ignored their communications. This is 
at once the cause and the effect of their semi-barbarism ; they sit, 
calling upon that Hercules, the Imperial Government, but they 
will not put shoulder to the wheel. 

Urubu will not be a capital. The port is bad, the lands are 
deepl}^ flooded every year, and the Serra do Boqueirao is too far 
to be utilized. I heard, how^ever, of olhos or w^ater pools, which 
possibly exist in it, and these metamorphic formations may be 
found to be rich in minerals. All vaunted the fertility of the 
inner country to the east and to the south-east ; they declared 
that four shrubs give three pounds of uncleaned cotton, formerly 
an item of export to Bahia. The so-called '' Irish " potato is 
small but ver}^ good, and onions grow from their own and not from 
imported seed. In addition to the usual list, the soil produces 
cucumbers, ground-nuts (Arachis hypog?ea, here known as Man- 
dubi, Mundubi, or Manobi), and oriental Sesamum (Gergelim or 
Jerxelim). Oranges and limes* grow, and the tamarind, 
though stunted, produces an abundance of fruit, which the 
Africans know how to prepare, while the Bahians do not. I 
also heard of soils in which the '' Mandioca brava," the poisonous 
manioc, spontaneously becomes "Aipim" or " Macaxeira," 
the sweet kind. The Judcfe and Jucfe de Paix, Dr. Claro Fran- 

* The sweet lime (Citnis Limoniiim) is limetto (C. Limctta) is simply limao or 
known as limao doce; the soiir lime or lima. 


cisco XegTdO, also assured me that the}- had seen three colts got 
by stallions out of she mules, addmg that the offspring was a 
most unsightly animal. 

The x^rmcipal " curio " shown to us was a bit of compact uncrys- 
tallized alum from Mocahubas,* a town fourteen leagues to the 
south-east. It is said to appear like stalactites in the caves which 
riddle the Serra do Machichi, and, as we were floating down 
stream to the north-west, the pilot pointed out a white mark 
which he declared to be the mine in a range right behind us. 
The people ignore the easy art of purifying their " j)edra hume." 
The ruddy resin of the Angico Acacia, which here forms their 
forests, was vaunted as a pectoral and an expectorant ; and the 
yellow gum of the Jatoba, light as amber, serves to caulk 
boats. The chief of the small industries is weaving hats, for 
which the Aricuri palmf supplies material; here they are worth 

$ 200, and they sell down stream for $ 500. 

AVe walked up the Rua da Pallia, which runs parallel with and 
inland of the Siio Goncalo ; two lines of very humble houses led to 
the large square behind the Matriz of Santo Antonio. This fane 
is built of brick, mixed with boulders (rolados) from the opposite 
Ponto do Morro, and with ii^on-stone from the river banks ; as 
3'et the belfries are wanting. There is a Casa de Camara, a 
detached jail and a vicar-general's house, but no such things as 
parish registers or public documents. Here the dry, sandy, and 
silty plain is covered with the Quipa, a dwarf cactus, about eight 
inches high, with fine, hair-like, but sharp thorns, radiating from 
white spots. Its flat plates contrast curiously with the tall 
" organ," the five-sided chandeliers (C. candelabriformis), the 
short, thick cyHnder (C. brevicaulis), and the serj^ent cactuses 
around it. My friends showed me upon the Quipa what appeared 
a white web, but after crushing it, the fingers were stained with 
a rosy-pink juice. This is the indigenous cochineal-insect, and 
it extends throughout the dry riverine regions. It is looked 
ux3on, hke most unknown things, as a magnificent mine of wealth, 
but years must pass before it can be made useful in commerce. 

1 told the b^^standers about Tenerife, which had imported from 

* In Mr. Keith Johnston's map, "Mil- schizophylla). According to the System, 

cauba." the juice is used in Bahia for curing oph- 

+ Commonly spelt " Ouricury, " also thalmia, 
written Aliculi, Aracui, and Arari (Cocus 


Mexico the large succulent nopal, and the fat insect. The}" man- 
fully suj^ported their fellow-country growth, the Quipa,* which 
was juiceless as a shoe-sole, declaring that during the rains it 
swells to thrice its present size. Here, as elsewhere in the 
Brazil, men hold the " esprit du mieux ennemi du bien ; " to 
advice they are untameable as flies ; their minds must grow, like 
those of infants or " Indians," by example rather than by pre- 
cept, and though intelligent and imitative, they always require 
improvements to be subjected to the faithful ej^es. 

Our friends " convoyed us a bit," gave us oranges and limes, 
and saw us off at 11 a.m. The nortli-east wind, cold in the 
burning sun, blew in strong blasts (refegas), frequently repeated till 
3 P.M., and hindered progress. And now we noticed that a com- 
plete change of soil and formation, climate and phj^siognomy, had 
taken place — the frontier being Urubii, and its portal of hills. 
The limestone country, with its gi*eat productive powers, and the 
rich Macape clay, have passed into sandstone, and the wooded 
banks have altered to a "Carrascal," or lovr bush. This ground 
in places produces the small maize, but agriculture and breeding 
flourish only in the " Geraes," or inner lands. The river, which 
before could spread far over its wide, flat valley, is nov^^ narrowed, 
and the overflow is checked by bounding ridges, through which 
the larger tributaries must twist ; the eastern wall will last with 
breaks till near the Great Hapids, the western till the Villa da 
Barra. There is no general name for the range, each place 
christens its own section ; that to the right is usuall}" spoken of 
as " A Serra," while near Urubu the opposite wall is the Serra 
Branca ; it then becomes Serra de Santa Catharina, the O Furado 
(or Serra Furada), the pierced, and so forth. The effect of these 
containing walls is to form a funnel, up which the Trade, now to 
be our deadly enemy, blows violently ; the greatl}' increased 
evaporation is carried up due south, hence the lands on the 
higher stream are drenched, where here all is bone dry. 

These Serras are disposed in straight and in slightl}" waving 
lines, which viewed from the stream appear to be great lunes and 
crescents, approaching and diverging. The regularitv of their 
shape, the flatness of the summit-line, and the steps and benches, 
which run in straight course along them, suggest that they were 

* Tlie fig of tliis cactus i,^ eaten, but it is full cf seeds. 


formscl under Avater, and that presently they rose to be river 
branches. As the bed, whose general course is from south to 
north, winds between them, the ridge of one side is often con- 
founded with that of the other. From the plains connectmg 
their feet with the stream-banks, rise detached and mound-like 
knobs, here single, there in groups, now perpendicular to, then 
running diagonally from, the bounding Serras ; in i3laces they 
form bluffs, striking the bed at right angles. The material of all 
the heights is sandstone, in places revetted with quartz, and con- 
taining, according to the people, gold ; we often see the strata 
exposed in the precipitous flanks facing the river. Further down 
we sliall find iron in the lowland lumps. The surface of these 
formations is a poor, shrubby growth, chiefly thornv, and here 
the giant Cactus, the Acacia, and the Mimosa are kings. 

About 3 P.M. we touched at Estrema on the right bank, which, 
though high, is swept by great floods ; here was a whitewashed 
house, a few" huts, and various ''timber," post and rail, and 
snake-fence. We had been told that the owner had a goat for 
sale ; he was absent, and w^e v>'ere disappointed. At sunset we 
made fast to a coroa, opposite a little hamlet, the Riacho das 
Canoas. The crew was living upon a bit of dried " bacalhao, or 
salted cod, whilst the fish leaped and splashed in all dii-ections ; 
they had no bait. Ashamed for them, I made the youth, 
Agostinho, arm a hook with a bit of meat, and in a few minutes 
we had enough for a day's food. The worst was the Curuvina ; * 
the Matrincham-|" is not bad, and a kind of Pirat bit freely. 

Oct. 4. — Sunset and sunrise had both been red, nothing could 
be more delightful than the dawn, but we felt that, as in Hindos- 
tan, the noon and the afternoon would make us do unlimited 
penance. The gusts and raffales which blew at times during the 
night, fell into a fitful slumber, wliich, however, did not in any 
way delude the watchful suspicions of the i:)ilot. Here the river 
itself offers prime conditions to the breeze ; it will broaden to a 

* Gardner writes Curvinlia, ^L Halfeld upper waters. Yellow and seal}', it grows 
has Cariivina. The fish is aboiit two feet to the length of three to four palms, and is 
long when full-grown, scaly, with pale, a favourite food with fishermen, 
soft meat, anything but delicious. The t Also called Tamandua ; it is a long- 
head contains a white hone, which is headed fish, v/ith light-blue tinge, about 
pounded and administered for various two feet in length, and tolerably good eat- 
diseases. ing. One variety is the Pira de Couro, 

t Grardner writes the word " Matrixam ; " another the Pira-pitanga (M. Halfeld, Pri- 

it is one of the Salmonidfe, smaller than petinga). There is also a sea-fish of this 

the Douiado, and very common in the n^iue. 


mile and a half, and split into channels, often of equal depth, and 
both filled with stranded trees and snags. The river islets 
greatly increase in size ; we shall presently pass one about a mile 
in breadth, and five miles long. These formations are mostly 
of sand, covered with thin humus, 'green with grass, in ]3laces 
cultivated, and bearing tall trees, amongst which the Grao de 
Gallo is conspicuous. 

After a few minor features,* and a prudent halt at an " espera " 
on the Bahian side, we sighted at the bottom of a ''big bend," 
the Arraial do Bom Jardim. Tiled huts api)eared on the right 
bank, a wave of higher ground offsetting from the Serra ; iliey lay 
some five miles behind or to the east. This range was patched 
with green, suggesting that it is better watered than the hills 
about Urubu, and the nearer surface appeared as if the bush 
had been burnt, or that a cloud was fitfully shading it in patches. 
Dark streams and sheets, apparently spread by an eruption, 
invade one another, alternate and strive for master}- ; at last, 
puzzled, I ascended a hill side, and found the gloom to be pro- 
duced by a matted aromatic shrub, with leafless twigs of umber- 
brown, and growing between stones, set off by the light of golden 
yellow grass. 

The left bank oi:>posite Bom Jardim is a lower level, a mass of 
tangled forest, cut by many an ypoeira, and nothing but an em- 
banked causeway could render it passable. The bend is fronted 
by the western containing ridge, Serra Furada, a tall and regular 
line, runnmg north and south ; here it is some seven miles distant 
from the stream, but below only about a league. On the water- 
side appeared the hamlet, Passagem (do Itahy or Bom Jardim), 
with its ruinous chapel, N* S*^ do Bom Successo. Where piles 
can be fished out of the stream, no one thinks of planting them 
under their floors, and of thus securing ventilation and escape 
from the floods. 

We landed at the Biacho de Santo "Inofre,"! above the set- 

* After one hour we passed the large Ilha do Gado Bravo (H., Ilha do Barreiro}, 

gi'een Ilha do Saco, and on the left bank, some two miles long. We took the normal 

when the thalweg is to the right, rises the line, the western channel, and facing to the 

Fazenda (H., Povoado) do Saco do Militao. north-east, we were compelled to anchor 

A rugged line in front, apparently on the hy a head wind, which, meeting a current 

PernamLucan, really on the Bahian side, like a mill-race, produced an angry tide 

presently shows peaks and distances, and up. 

in the pure clear air it seemed £o be at no f In Mr. Keith Johnston the " R. S. 

distance. Another hour brought us to the Oncfrio " is marked with dots, and made to 


tlement. It rises to the south-east, di'ainmg, with the aid of its 
affluent, the Boqueii'ao, the north-western face of the Serras das 
Ahnas de Sincora and dos Lencoes ;* the eastern slopes forming 
the great Paraguassu. Small canoes ascend it for some leagues, 
during the floods, to the Yargem de N^ S^ da Guia. During the 
hot season it is nearly dry, but leats and courses would readily 
create reservoii's in the lower levels. The mouth of the green 
avenue is about forty feet broad, the left jaw is a sandpit, the 
right is a stony platform, composed of ferruginous " canga " 
and pebbly conglomerate, j)asted ^\ith hydrate of iron. In time 
it will become a steamer-pier ; the stream swings to it, always 
allowing a deep-water approach; it is flooded for a few days 
during the year, but a levee higher up would, if necessary, 
obviate the inconvenience. At present it is used only as a 
ground for washing linen. The shallow pits and pot-holes sup- 
plied the finest sign of " diamantation ; " the people, who leave 
it unworked, declare it to be brought down by an eastern influent, 
the Eiacho do Pe da Serra, where they still dig gold. 

Below the mouth of the stream Hes the little arraial. The 
water froths against pm-e pottery-clay of dull, dead white, worn 
into holes by the tongues of cattle ; in the upper levels it is 
mixed with sand. The settlement consists mainly of a smgle 
line, whose railed backyards extend to the river-brink. There 
are scatters of houses inland of this line, including a ranch for 
travellers. The total may be forty, whereas in 1852 — 4, there 
were 300 inhabitants under 103 roofs. The people live by 
breeding cattle, by agriculture, and by fishing. AVe bought a 
three days' provision of the fine Cacunete f for ten coppers 
(0 $ 400). Behind the village lies a sandy plain, about 100 paces 
broad, with thin pasture, and showing symptoms of flood. 
Beyond it the ground, thickly bushed over, rises high above 
all inundations, and here ^\t.11 be the site of the settlement. At 
present it is occupied by the vicarless church, N* S^ da Guia, whose 
wmdowless front had been freshly whitewashed. Like the hamlet 
it faces to the west with southing. A heap of torrent-rolled 

come from the western versants, which send last. The details in the text were supplied 

to the Atlantic the Eio das Contas. to me by the people of Bom Jardim, and 

■* In a map lately published by the con- therefore are open to doubt, 
cessionees of the Paraguassu Valley line, the f A fish with few spines, highly prized, 

"Paramirim" is the main western drain and sixpposed to be a kind of Suriibim. 
corresponding with the Paraguassu to the 



stones (pedras de enxurrada) lay at the wall-foot, and at once 
showed the origin of the diamonds and the gold. There 
were large pieces of laminated quartzose sandstone, in fact, true 
Itacolumite. Mostly it was reddish, like a half-burnt brick, ex- 
ceedingly compact, and streaked and dotted with finely dissemi- 
nated mica ; other specimens were purely Avhite, and their 
coarser texture showed the grain distinctl}^ The formation is 
found upon the hilly Geraes, three to six leagues to the north- 
east of the river's right bank, the strata are often too thick and 
solid for use ; it supplies, however, the country-side with the 
slabs for flooring massive ovens, and it equalled in size those 
" Pedras de Furno," which I had seen near CamiUinho of 

We were much prepossessed by the general appearance and 
the capabilities of the land ; even the phlegmatic German ex- 
claims, " E esta uma das mais agradaveis paragens a beira do Bio 
de Sao Francisco." The people appeared comparatively healthy 
after the wretched palHd faces of Urubii, and even the horses 
seemed better bred. The prospect is charming, and this 
must alwaj^s form a great consideration, when estimating the 
future value of a place. The channel is narrow, compact, and 
unencumbered with shoals, while the current is not too rapid ; 
sweeping to north-east, and frequently to north-west, it throws 
its main current agamst the bend, whilst the general wind, being 
easterly, and blowing over a high and dry country, the evils 
which might arise from ypoeiras, bayous, lakes, or lakelets in the 
low riverine valley are corrected. Building-room is endless, 
material abounds, and in the vicinity are hills wliich will allow 
change of chmate. 

Bom Jardim, a name of good augmy, is the only site yet seen 
which deserves to become a cit}^, or which can pretend to be the 
capital of the long-expected province or territory. In some points, 
especially as regards river-navigation, it is better than, in others 
it is inferior to, its rival down-stream, Chique-Chique. The posi- 
tion is central, about equi-distant from Januaria on the south, 
and from Joazeiro to the north. It is nearly due west of 
Sao Salvador, metropolis of the opulent commercial province of 
Bahia ; it is nearly due east of Palma, one of the most important 
cities, in agricultural and cattle-breeding Go3^az, where the navi- 
gable Paranan or south-eastern branch unites with the Pdo 


Maranliao to form the grand Tocantins. It thus connects with 
the Atlantic by two roads, more and less dkect. The water-vv^ay 
is down the Rio de Sao Francisco. The land route is via the 
line of the Paraguassu Eiver, which passes by Cachoeu-a city, 
the head of Bahian steam navigation. I will say nothing about 
the steam tramway, which proposes to run along the southern 
valley of that stream, as the ground is absolutely unknown to me 
beyond Cachoeii'a. A glance at the map, however, will show 
that this has the advantage of a riverme plain, whereas both the 
Pernambucan and the Bahian Anglo-Brazilian main-trunks are 
distinctly '' cross-countrj-." Meanwhile it has been strongly 
advocated by Mr. John Morgan, of Bahia, v\dio has had the 
advantage of a thii*ty-five j^ears' residence ; and the works have, I 
am told, commenced under ever}^ advantage. 

Finally Bom Jardim connects by land and w^ater with that 
Brazilian Mediterranean, the Amazons'; and we may safely pre- 
dict for it high destinies, of which it is at present naively 

X 2 




Sixth Travessia, 29^ Leagues. 

the carnahuba, or wax-palm. — vintens offered to santo antonio. — 
first sight of the arassua range. — the gull-fair. — big cranes. — 
the toga, or cave of saint anthony. — the thorns. — the villages 


Onde a natureza 
BeUa e virgem se mostra aos olhos do homem 
Qual moga Indiana, que as ing-enuas gra9as 
Em f ormoza nudez sem arte ostenta. 

{Poesias B. J. da Silva Guimaraes.') 

As the wind fell we put off, and presently landed on the right 
bank, below Cachoeirinha. At this point a short projection of 
stone makes the water dash and murmur, but in no way injures 
the thalweg. We broke through the tangled bush and found a 
sandy plain between the stream and a knob of thickety sandstone 
hill, distant about 100 paces. The surface sloped away from the 
river-ridge to a hollow paved with flakes of mud ; it must be 
a water-course during the rains. All the ledge was cut by paths 
leading to the various settlements, cattle grazed the thin grass, 
and the sheep besides being fat, were woolly and not hairy. 

Amongst the Angicos and the Myrtacese, one of which w^as mis- 
taken by the '' Menino" for a Jaboticabeira, now alas ! no more, 
we observed a white-blossomed bush, much resembling in per- 
fume and physiognomy, English " May." And here we saw for 
the first time in situ the beautiful wax-palm known in the Brazil 
as Carnahuba (Carnauba), and Carnaiba (Corifa cerifera, Arrud. 
Copernicia cerifera. Mart.), the Caroudai of Spanish America. 
Its habitat is the riverine land upon the streams of the Pernam- 


buco, Parahyba do Norte, Ceara and Piauhy ; during the last 
few years it lias been introduced into gardens near the coast. 

The Carnahtiba, when first appearing, is a mere bunch of fronds 
projecting above the ground. As it advances the trunk is clad 
in a complete armour of spikes. The fronds, as they fall off, 
leave their dull brown petioles in whorls or spirals winding round 
with or against the sun. When not higher than a man the 
youngster's pith or heart yields, when crushed in water, a fecula 
somewhat like tapioca, white as manioc, and useful in times of 
drought or famine. At a more adult age it i^uts forth a thin 
shaft, smooth, clean, and gTe}', like dove-colom-ed silk, which con- 
trasts strangely with the six feet of corrugated chevaux cle fiise — 
the magnified thistle — which protects its base. After the fifth 
year it assumes its full beauty, the cruelly-thorned leaves dis- 
tinctly fan-shaped, and with long rays rising from a spindle which 
attains a maximmn of thii'ty-five feet, are peculiarly picturesque 
In old specimens the trunk is raised, after the fashion of palms, 
upon a lumpy cone of fibres or aerial rootlets, a foot high. Some 
eccentric individuals have narrowings and bulgings of the bole, 
others encom'age creepers to form in masses upon the frond- 
petioles below, and suggest the idea of a tucked petticoat. The 
vitaUt}" of the tree is great, it resists the severest droughts, and I 
have seen instances when the trunk lay upon the ground and the 
upturned head was still alive, fighting to the last. It grows to a 
great age ; people mostly decline to mention the number of its 

The Carnahuba is justh^ considered, both for man and beast, 
the most valuable palm of the Sertao. Its gum is edible and the 
roots are used as salsaparilla. The mid-rib is rafted down the 
streams for fences, the fibre is worked into strong thread and 
cordage. The leaves are good food for cattle,* they form excel- 
lent thatching, and the fibre is made into "straw-hats," ropes, 
and cords, for nets and seines. The fruit is in large drooping 
clusters of berries, wliich in places strew the ground. AVlien 
green the nut resembles a small olive ; it ripens to a brilliant 
black, and attains the size of a pigeon's egg. The pulp, boiled to 
remove its astringenc}', becomes soft like cooked maize ; it is con- 
sidered good and wholesome, especially when eaten with milk, and 

* I have read of, but Lave not seen this : the part usually given to cattle is the 
miolho, or pith of the young tree. 


animals readily fatten upon it. Tlie ripe berry is usually eaten 

The most notable property of tliis palm, according to Koster, 
was discovered in 1797, by the Portuguese naturalist. Dr. Manoel 
Arruda da Camara;* the latter communicated it to Frei Jozc 
Marianno da Conceicao Vellozo, who published an account of it 
in the ^'Palladio Portuguez." The leaves of the young tree, 
when two feet long by about the same breadth, are cut and dried 
in the shade. Thej then discharge from the surface pale grey- 
yellow dusty scales, which, melted over the fii-e, become a brown 
wax. Cereous matter is also procured by boiling the unripe 
berries,! and chiefly by scraping the central spike, which prolongs 
the tree. The wax occurs mixed with heterogeneous substances, 
bark or fibre, and it loses considerably by sifting. The material 
is tasteless and soft to the touch ; the smell has been compared 
with that of newly made hay. Its chief fault is its brittleness ; 
this, however, is remedied by mixing with three-parts of vegetable 
one-part of animal wax, or l-8tli to 1-lOth of tallow. Carna- 
huba candles are made upon the seaboard ; but I saw only one 
*' dip " upon the Eio de Sao Francisco, where, a little lower 
down, the palm is found in forests. The colour was that of rhu- 
barb, 3'ellow or brown sugar, and the light was not to be com- 
pared with the worst " Paraffine."! 

Another league placed us at the head of the Illia da Pedra 
Grande, the largest jet seen, and where the river contained a 
greater breadth of land than of water. We took the right-hand 
channel, although the left is marked in the plan ; perhaps the 
crew did not wish to land at the cave of Santo Antonio in a rock 
lump (Morro da Imagem de Santo Antonio), near a remarkable 

* Pic piiblislied at Bio de Janeiro in 1810 plates. After three weeks it became a 

two brocliiires, wliicli were analysed by pale yellov/, witb a surface almost wbitc. 

Koster. Appendix, vol. ii. The same change was effected by reducing 

+ This also is from books. I do not it to thin plates, and dipping them into an 

believe that the fruit is used to extract aqueous solution of oxymuriatic acid, 

wax. ■ Made into candles, with proi3erly propor- 

X Koster tells us (quoting vol. xxxi. p. 14, tioned wick, it burned uniformly and with 

Trans. Philos. Soc. 1811) that the Count of perfect combustion. It was found to differ 

Valveas (the minister Pombal, Count of from other species of vegetable wax, such 

Yciras) sent from Ptio de Janeiro to Lord as that of the M3'rica cerifera, lac and 

Grenville a si^ecimcn of the "carnanbaa" white lac. The latest authority upon the 

wax as an article of export, produced be- subject of this jmlm ''Notice sur le palmier 

twcen N. lat. 3° — 7°. The brown-yellow Carnauba," was publislied at Paris, 1867, 

colour of the dust was attacked with weak by Sir M. A. de Macedo, 1 vol. 8vo. 
nitric acid, and exposure to air on glas,s 


buttress, tlie Morro do Picliaim. Tlie}' contented themselves witli 
throwing a vintem into the water, reminding me of m}^ Beloch 
escort and their slender gift to the hol}^ but angry Shaykh, who 
lies upon the banks of the Pangani River. We cheated the 
mosquitos by anchoring upon a sand-bar below the Fazenda do 
Barro Alto, and were regaled with the music of song and drum, 
which extended into the smallest hours. 

October 5, 1867. — Appeared in the yellow of dawn a pretty 
site, the Limoeiro Fazenda, backed by the Serrote do Limoeiro, 
an assemblage of sandstone heaps and hills, here and there tied 
and compacted with ribs and ridges ; its containing wall vanished 
to the north-west. From the Fazenda Grande further down, a 
man put off, bringing for sale a neat new saddle, like the Egj'p- 
tian donkey pad, and priced at 8g000. At ''the Carahybas" a 
boat-load of the last night's revellers greeted us with shots, and 
we returned shouts. The hierarchy of the river formerly was 
established with a certain rigour wliicli, however, is fast disap- 
pearing before the '' levelling tendencies of the age." The canoe 
was expected to halt and compliment the raft, by trumpeting or 
blowing the conch ; the raft showed the same deference to the 
barque, and the saluted craft passed proudly on without deigning 

Shortly before noon, as we passed the islands do Meleu'6 and 
do Sabonete, the wind fell to a dead calm ; all Nature seemed to 
take a siesta, the aii' was cloudless, and the long level m front 
showed a silver plate of water narrowing near the horizon to a 
thread. Behind lay a charming prospect, strata of golden sand 
supporting emerald bush, a warm ruddy buttress flying from the 
back-ridge of sandstone, a mound of purple distance, and a iixr 
perspective of sky-blue peaks. About noon we opened the Riacho 
das Canoas;* this is the half-way house for the pilots of Joa- 
zeii-o, as is the Villa da Barra for those of Januaria, and thus the 
boats overlap. 

The stream, now bending east, showed a brown saddle- 
back, apparently on the left bank, and quite close ; it was the 
Morro do Para, on the right shore, and distant. At its foot 

* Mr. Keith Jolinston gives tlie ''R. mcnt on a wave of ground; it lives appa- 

Canoas," making it Lead near the Puo do rently upon a ferry-raft used by passen ers 

CoiTente to the sonth-^-est. It is a brook and animals, bound to the Bahiaa Dia- 

01 little importance. At the mouth is mantine range and to the provinciil 

"Passagem," a small well-situated settle- capital. 


seemed to nestle the Penedo da Toca, above j^ellow ^Yith dry 
tufty grass, and below dark, with water-glazed sandstone. The 
far distance was bounded by a broken blue range, on the Bahian 
side by a tall ridge with a pyramid peering above it, a central 
saddle-back connected by a low wall, with a lion couchant on the 
left. This is our first view of the '' Serra de Arassua." 

As we approached the Penedo buttress, the sudden curve made 
the stream run swiftly, and form, near the left side, an eddy and 
a boil, which the pilots called a " Eemanso." A sand bank to 
the right showed a kind of gull-fair. The larus and the sterna, 
essentially wandering and restless birds, ma}' have been trooping 
preparatory to a jaunt during the approaching rains. Amongst 
them the rosy Spoon-bill (Platalia Ajaja) gathered in patches 
forming a flower bed ; and the Guara, or red Ibis (Ibis rubra, or 
Tantalus rubra),* with stiU brighter plume, reminded me of fla- 
mingo-companies. Amid the variety of gloomy divers and snowy 
herons, large and small, stood aloft the Jaburu (Jabiru),! here 
also called Tuyuyu (or Touyouyou, Mj^cteria americana, Linn.), 
about four feet tall, with a bare jet-black head capping its purely 
white plume. It haunts the banks and sand-bars, where it passes 
the time in fishing ; I hence the people do not eat it, declaring 
that it tastes of fin as much as of feather. We shall often see it 
all down-stream, especially in the morning, when it wings its way 
in regular triangles, flying low enough to be shot down ; and 
amongst the chatter and the screams of the smaller birds its loud 
hoarse voice sounded " like the chaunting of a friar." Mr. David- 
son compared it with the sand-hill crane of Florida. § I could 
not but remember the " adjutant-bird " of old. 

We paddled to the left bank, were swept down-stream by the 
eddy, and poled up to the landing place, at the base of the rock. 
A rough cross to the east directed us to the " Toca de Santo 

* This ibis "was of importance to the volatiles. This the pilots deny. Lieiit. 

''Indians," who Tised its fine plumes in Herndon found the Tu^aiyu grey on tlie 

their full dress. There are several kinds, Amazons ; the pair ' ' which he succeeded 

the white and the green (Tantalus Cayan- in getting to the United States were 

ncnsis), which the Tupys called Grarauna, white." He also mentions a " large white 

blue or dark Ibis, and which was corruirted crane, called JaburCi " (p. 229). 

to "Carao." § Other common species are the white 

•\- Mr. Bates (i. 282) mentions the Ja- Courica (Ciconia americana). A Tanta- 

burti-Moleque (Mycteria americana), a lus albicollis, with white and black jjlume, 

powerful bird of the stork family 4 4 feet and loud harsh voice, is mentioned by 

in height. Pisen and Marcgraf. The Qarqa, real (Ar- 

+ Prince Max (iii. 1-46) heard that it dea pileata, Lath.) has a black head and a 

was a bird of prey which devours other yellow-white coat. 


Antonio — lioly caves are now becoming banal. This tunnel, 
seven paces long and six feet broad, opens to the south a mouth 
eight feet high. The ceiling is pierced with a natural shaft ; the 
floor is of dry caked mud, and the liighest water-mark is ten feet 
high at the entrance. We found inside a flight of bats, whose 
perfume was the reverse of pleasant, and a taper of the usual 
brown bees'-wax, curled up like the match of a matchlock, was stuck 
up against the wall. The formation is a hard, red, laminated Ita- 
columite, with dots and particles of mica ; the dip is nearh^ 

Seen from the strfeam in front, this *' jienedo" appears a sharp 
roof-ridge of stone, somewhat like a cocked hat, tapering to the 
north-west. Externally the profile has a strike nearl}^ north and 
south, and cleavage lines dipping 45°, split by other fissures nearly 
at right angles. "We failed to ascend the eastern wall, which was 
worse than precipitous. Where it thins out, however, the slope 
is easy. The summit, 100 feet above the plain, bristled with 
slabs serrated and set almost on edge. The Itacolumite was 
striped with broad bands of white quartz, and the junction may 
be the bii'th-place of the diamond. The stone would readily have 
cooked a beefsteak, yet it sheltered the goatsucker, which rose in 
pau*s, flitted past as if thrown from the hand, wheeled suddenly 
above gromid, and hid itself nestling a few 3'ards from our feet. 
On these rocks also the coney had his refuge. The brown Moco 
(Caira rupestris) * peeped out of its home, stared curiously from 
side to side, and, scenting danger, sprang back with the action of 
the rabbit. The riverines hunt this animal, and declare the flesh 
to be excellent eating. It is a congener of the tame variety 
which, preserving its voice, changed its coat dming the process of 
domestication, and deceived the world by calling itself Guinea pig 
and Cochon d'lnde. I was simple enough to ask, when in 
Guinea, whether it was at home there. 

Santo Antonio has not been so successful with the thorns as 
was St. Peter with the frogs. We scraped unpleasant acquaintance 
with the Macambira, a Bromelia whose thorns, shaped like a 
bantam's spurs, are sharp as awls. The gregarious Quipa Cactus 

* It was called Kerodon by ]\I. Fred. Lieut. Herndon (chap. 4) seems to have 

Cuvier, and is mentioned by every traveller found a dish of stewed Guinea pigs very 

in the Brazilian interior, from Koster to good. 
the present day. In the Sierras of Peru 


did its little best to sting. The ugliest customer of the nettles by far 
was the Urticacea which the men here called Cansan9ao bravo 
(Loasa rupestris), a poison nettle. The tall stem was garnished 
with short sharp bristles which seemed automatons, finding 
tlieii* way through the air. Worse than an}^ Dolichos, they 
penetrated the skin in dozens, caused a violent itching, and 
raised an eruption, wdiich disappeared only after su2:)purating. 
The only non-spinous tree that grew upon these rocks was a 
stunted and silvery Cecropia. Thus the ancient *' Indians" 
found growing together the two shrubs, large nettle and the 
sloth-tree, which supplied fibre-thread for their thick, heavy, and 
enduring cloths. 

The rock top gave a fine view of the glorious river-plain below. 
The stream, dotted and patched with islets, made a long sack 
from south to east and north. The Morros do Para and da Tor- 
rinha, on the right and left, seemed planted to keep it in place. 
To the north-east the Arassua range displayed its huge folds and 
slopes, and far to the south-east giant ramps stretched between 
earth and cloud. Between the blocks was a dead level which, 
according to some informants, extends as far as the northern 
breakwater of the great Paraguassu valley.* The riverine plain is 
liopulous and well cultivated. It showed the usual features, hut 
clumps, bright green clearings, dark green woods, and yellow 
grass, which four several prairie-fires canopied with a long purjDle 
awning of smoke. 

Once more shooting across the eddy, we reached the elbow 
upon whose right bank stands the Povoacao do Para ; where 
" Barboza of the Girls " struck up the '' riUng" ditty — 

Niio me qiierem bem, nao me querem mau 
Par^ e longe, nao vou la. 

The mouth of the Para-mirim, or, as the pilot called it, Parana- 
mirim,t opened vith a line of green to the south of the settlement, 
and formed a sand-patch upon which cattle basked. The houses 
of red clay, and ashen grey thatch, set off by a few domes of fresh- 
foliaged trees, ran in lines at the south-western foot of the umbre- 

* The road passes by a town, knov/n as John Morgan's map encloses the Riacho of 

N. S. do liom Caminlio: despite Avhich, many Bom Jardim. According to the people it is 

informants complained that it was in a of no importance, and certainly the moulh 

desperately bad state. docs not argue a long course. 

t This is the Paramirim which in Mr. 


coloured liill. The next feature was the Morro da Torrhiha, a 
stony ridge begmning at the water-side and forming a double 
tongue, the more distant lump being the higher. At the pomt were 
taU trees, and above rose broT^ii bush. This is the Fazenda laid 
out by the Commendador Antonio Mariani, and the ten huts and 
houses to the water front are so disposed that the people can fly 
from the floods to the knob-top. Passing sundry islands, all more 
or less inhabited, we anchored at night-fall near a low sand- 
bar below the Illia do Timbo. Our visit disturbed hundreds 
of V\'ater-fowl, and again at night we heard a concert of drums 
and voices. There is no want of "jollity" here. Yesterda}", 
however, a blind white had begged ahns with the true drone and 
whine of the professional '' asker" — an event rare enough to be 

Oct. 6. — At night, the Yento Geral gave way to the westerly 
land breeze, and the sensation was of unusual cold. When we 
awoke the river had risen some eighteen inches, floating away one 
of oiu' paddles, and placing us at some distance from the sand- 
bar.* These "repignetes," as the barquemen call them, are 
swellings and subsidings preliminary to the flood of the year ; 
according to the pilots they occur three or four times in succes- 
sion. The morning was pleasant, but it showed distinct signs of 
wmd. As the sun, between G a.:\i. and noon, warms the earth 
and water, the cold breeze comes up vdtli puffs, and blows hard 
till about 2 p.m., when the equilibrium of the atmosphere is 
restored. Then by slow degrees succeeds a calm, which often 
lasts till evening. Near Remanso we shall have alternately one 
day of wind and another of rain. 

Setting out at dawn, we presently sighted, from a distance of 
four to five miles, the Serra do Brejo, or western containing- 
ridge, trending to the west, and bending north ; it is faced by the 
Assaraua, rising like a gigantic insulation, and capped by a high 
white cloud, like a second storey of island in the light blue sky. 
The near banks v\'ere flat, grassy ledges, producing an abundance 
of the hard, gnarled, and dark-barked Jurema Acacia, f The 

* ^Ye had, I have said, an anclior with reach a town in time for some fete, a watch 

us, and this proved of no little use. Grene- at night is never set, and the craft would 

rally rafts, and even barques, are made fast be amongst the rapids before the sleei^ers 

to upright poles, and many an accident has would awake. 

taken place from their breaking loose. The + This Acacia vvas first noticed about 

men work hard, especially if they wish to Malhada and Carunhanha, where it is sup- 


trees were tasselled at tlie branch ends with nests two or three 
feet long, bags of diy and thorny twigs, opening with a narrow 
entrance at the upper end, and comfortably lined with soft grass. 
Probably, like the clay hut of Joao de Barro, it receives an 
annual ''annexe." Here the tenant is called Casaca de Couro,* 
or " leather-coat." 

We had to battle with the winds and the wavelets, which rose 
as by magic ; and off the " Angical " Fazenda the enemy had the 
best of the affair, and kept us at halt for three hours. This is a 
large breeding estate in a sack on the right bank, which is sandy 
and produces fine Cocoa-nuts, Carnahubas, and Quixabeiras. 
From a point a little below this, canoes during the floods make a 
short cut across country to the Ypoeira of Chique-Chique. Ap- 
proaching the Ilha do Camaleao,! of the Chameleon, we saw 
ahead, the white houses of the settlement, attached to a huge 
pile, projecting over the green left bank. The northern approach 
to the Villa da Barra do Rio Grande is by the narrow " Corre- 
deira," or channel, formed near the western side by the long thin 
island-ship, the Ilha do Laranjal; to the east is the main line of 
the Sao Francisco, a mass of sand-bars and beaches. The course 
is then across the mouth of the Pdo Grande, which here runs to 
the east with northing, and discharges into the Sao Francisco. 
Its right jaw pushes out from inundated thickets a clay point 
thinly covered with bush, and in the centre there is a shrubby 
island. The current at the confluence, where 1200 feet of breadth 
rush to meet 6100 feet, strikes heavily upon the Pontal, or pro- 
jection which faces to the south-east, and separates the two rivers. 
The material, fortunately for the town, is a perpendicular bank 

posed to give the finest charcoal. It will lower end : he found tlie Lird in the upper 

become more alnmdant as we approach the storey, and below it a kind of bush-monse 

Great Rapids. The people speak of two (Rat des Catingas, IVIus pjTrhorhinns). 
qualities (species?), the Jiirema (alias t The author of the Caramuru asserts 

Gerema or Geremma, Acacia Jurema), and (vii. 58) that the Camaleao feeds upon wind, 

the Jurema Pesta. The ample growth of In the Brazil, however, the Chameleon is a 

Acacias and Mimosas Angico, barbatuirao lizard (Lacerta iguana), which changes a 

and Inga, combined with the saline soil of little the colour of the skin, but which 

this part of the valley, prove how well- cannot be compared with the true chama3- 

fitted it is for camel-breeding. leones. This animal in the wilder parts 

• * It may be the same as the Gil)ao of the Sei'tao is considered to be more deli- 

de Couro (leather-jacket), a gobemouche cate than the chicken ; but the people are 

(Musicapa rupestris) : I did not see the not particular, they devour the ounce, the 

bird. Prince Max. (iii. 95) described a cayman, the wild cat, the Siriema-bird, 

similar nest of the Anabatis rufifrons, or and other strong meats. 
Sylvia rufifrons, with an opening at the 


of hard clay, strengthened with hj'drate of iron, at this season 
six feet ahove the water ; it extends some leagues down the left 
side of the Rio de Sao Francisco. From the mildest of heights 
we can see the low-lying valley of the Eio Grande winding up 
from the south-west, where there is a break in the blue cm'tain 
which subtends the plain. It is a flat Delta of dense vegetation, 
at least twenty miles across in a bee-line. These confluence 
towns run a double risk, from the main artery and from the 
influent; the heavy downfalls of rain are often local deluges, 
and thus one stream may do damage when the other is peacefullv 
inclined. During the last night the Eio Grande rose several 
inches, when the Sao Francisco fell : the people declared that 
they never saw this happen so earh', and began to predict that 
water would be wanted when most required. 

The town runs from west to east, along the northern bank 
of the Pdo Grande,* beginnmg about a mile up-stream, and 
extending to the " Pontal." It has a mean look, the houses 
are low and small, with roughly railed courts on the water- 
side, where the floods prevent building, and sunchy are un- 
finished, mere tiled roofs without walls. Here and there, on 
the higher levels, is a platform of rough stone and lime brought 
from Porto Alegre, six leagues down stream ; it supports a 
whitewashed back waU or a tenement half-white, half-yellow, 
set ofi" with pea-green shutters. The Porto, t a dirty landing- 
place of sand and clay, is the common sewer ; in the mornings 
it becomes a fish-market, durhig the day seines hang on poles 
to dry, children pelt the dogs, the asses, here a " feature," and 
the long-legged pigs, ducks and fowls, wander about in com- 

* This great influent has heen surveyed leagues rid Santa Rita to Formosa ; but 

by M. Half eld, who devotes to it three this is a troublesome journej^ From these 

charts. Well deserving the name, it drains lands are exported rice, farinha, maize, 

the eastern side of the northern di^-iding legumes, rapadura, and other proWsions : 

range of (jroyaz. The mouth is in (approxi- some salt is also made at the Barra do 

mately) south lat. 12° 10', and west long. Boqueirao, 16 to 18 leagues from the em- 

(Rio) 1° 3'. It is navigable for 45 leagues to bouchure of the Rio Grande. The Rio 

the Villa do Campo Largo, where it is still Preto is the stream whose waters Lieut. 

350 wide ; its depth is about 4 metres, ]\Ljraes would throw over the mountains 

the cui-rent 0'77 per second, and the dis- into the Parnagua Lake. I have alluded to 

charge about 190 cubic metres, or nearly this wondrous project in Chap. 26. 
double the Seine at Paris. Bej^ond this f I do not understand what M. Halfeld 

point there are difficulties, but small means by *' este portoparece ser artificial." 

"dug-outs" go 20 leagues fiirther to It is rare to find an}i;hing more WTetch- 

Limoeiro. The Rio Preto, its great north- edly natural, 
western fork, gives a navigable line of 32 


pany witli lialf-tamecT cranes, white and asli-coloured, and tlie 
women wash in company. Water for househokl use must be 
brought from up-stream : here it is dark, foamy, and tainted. 
A number of canoes and barcas ride at anchor attached to their 
poles, and a favourite conveyance appears to be the ''balsa," 
or raft of '' Burity " fronds. The long bundles are lashed to- 
gether in live or six places, and are kept in position by cross- 
pieces ; they rise about one foot above water, and, being elastic, 
they are less likely to be injured by shoals and rapids. They 
carry down the river huge " pipas," or. hides full of grain, and 
similar "trem:" at their destination they are broken up to 
make posts and rails, which are tolerably durable. 

This is a great '' festa," the peculiar day of the Padroeii'o, 
or patron saint, " S. Francisco das Chagas." As w^e approached 
the town, we saw the F. F. in accurate black, riding small 
horses and smaller mules, along the unclean Praia to join in 
the office. The rest of the crowd was in hats of sorts, cliimney- 
pot, Burity- straw, or felt, and in brown or white cotton clothes. 
There was the usual grotesque old negro, wearing a caped cloak 
of the thickest blue broadcloth, in an atmosphere of 98° (F.). 
The women are all in church till the ceremony ends, and the 
men cluster at the door lilve a swarm of bees. Presently the 
''function" ended with a discharge of fireworks — it was still 
broad daylight — which seemed to administer much spiiitual 
comfort. A procession issued to perambulate the streets, and 
the dignitaries, by their red and white " opas," or short cloaks, 
caused no little sensation. Girls dressed in the brightest 
coloured stufts, and small youths in the lightest of clothing, 
and very little of it, charged wildly about the place, dodging 
round the corners to " catch another sight." I visited in the 
evening the little chapel of Bom Jesus, vdiich has stumps where 
towers should be — a man in uniform without epaulettes. The 
illumination was not brilliant, but it showed me that the femi- 
nine element predominated : the principal duty seemed to be to 
kneel down before a table, and to kiss the Saint's very dimi- 
nutive feet — the principalest to deposit a few coppers upon 
an adjoining table. The night showed not a few of the 
scenes which one expects to see at a commercial port on festal 


M. Halfeld speaks with enthusiasm of the townspeople.* I 
found them civil and courteous, as indeed is the rule of the Brazil, 
but the Bahiano did not sliine after the Paulista, or the Mineu'o. 
My letter of introduction to the Lieut.-Col. Joaquim Francisco 
Guerreu'o was not followed by any results ; on the other hand, 
the Lieut.-Col. Carlos Mariani, the grandson of a Corsican who 
had emigrated to the Brazil, " in the days of the Genoese Re- 
public," came at once to see me, led me to his house, and showed 
me all his curiosities. He had octahedral pieces of magnetic 
ii'on (ferragem), which is found scattered about the fazendolas 
(little estates), and on the Vareda do Curral das Egoas, beyond 
the western containing-ridge. His rock crystals came from an 
eastern Serrote ; wdiilst the Tauatinga Range and Natividade in 
the Tocantins Yalley supplied red sandstone vnih attachments of 
quartz, showing at the junction regular lines of free gold, and 
diffused traces of copper. He informed me that a wandering 
German had lately been robbed of some opals, which are sup- 
posed to be found near the Villa de Sao Domingos, en route to 
Cuj^aba in Mato Grosso. 

I spent the main of my time wandering about the town, and 
trying to detect its latent merits. Beginning at the east and 
walking round by the north, we find that the site is a great 
Varzea, or river plain, raised 18 to 20 feet onty above the low 
level of the stream. The land immediately behind the town 
is flooded six feet, and even more ; to the north there is a large 
swamp-bed, which has its own (h'ain to the east. Many of the 
houses in this du'ection show a water mark of 3 to 4 feet in 
height ; and some have smik twenty-four to thii'ty-six inches into 
their sopped and sandy foundations. It is probable, however, 
that this may be accounted for by the deposit of the inundation ; 
the Mississippi, in some places, leaves annually a coat of mud and 
sand two or three feet thick. On the north-west is a whitewashed 
cemeter}^, and beyond it another of clay. In this part also is 
the Tezosinho (little rise) da Conceicao, a '' Retu'o," where the 
townspeople huddle together when then' houses are under water ; 
it is the resisting bluff which prevents the plain being swept 

* ' ' Tlie noble and loyal character of the the most gentlemanly politeness, and in 

inhabitants of the Villa da Barra, espe- social life an extreme delicacy of manners 

cially the higher classes, evinces, in all which rivals the most civilised Coui-ts. " 
their acts, civil and religious, cordiality. 


away. At the west end we find the origin of all these evils. 
Here is the tip- over, the '' transbordamento," where the waters 
of the Rio Grande enter, form an Ypoeira, and, with the assist- 
ance of the swamp, convert the site into an island.* The 
bayou-head can hardly be embanked, it is too broad and the 
soil is too loose and silty to form a levee. Lime being expensive, 
clay is used in its stead, and the deep holes dug for this material 
form, under a sun that burns at 6' 30 a.m., another fomenter of 
marsh disease. The only remedy is to remove to a better place, 
but the question is where to find it. 

The town is in the usual long narrow form, with silty and 
sandy thoroughfares, all bearing names, none boasting pave- 
ments. Behind, or north of Water Street, is the Paia do 
Santissimo ; behind it the Rua do Rosario has at the west end 
a Praca, a huge cross, and a two-windowed ground-floor chapel ; 
still northwards is the Rua do Amparo, a wild suburb, and 
beyond it the " Retiro." These long lines are connected as 
usual by Travessas or cross streets. There are a few sobrados 
and meio-sobrados, fronted by the usual bits of brick-edge trottoir, 
and proudly displaying glass windows. Most of the houses are 
small, with large projecting eaves under-boarded ; many, even 
in the highest parts, appear half interred. There are a few shoi)S 
of dry goods, and a photographic establishment, which sells 
cartes de visite at the rate of 8 $000 per dozen; a butchery sup- 
plies tolerable meat, and a host of Vendas sell spirits and rapad- 
ura, onions and garlic. 

The nucleus of the settlement is about the Largo da Matriz. 
The people determined to show their spirit by building to Sao 
Francisco a church of the grandest description. Such things 
begin vigorously in the Brazil. The Provincial Government 
gave £'400, which alms and contributions raised to £2400. 
Bahia was applied to for a plan and an architect ; the person 
chosen was a German, Herr Heinrich Jahn, who brought with 
him his family. The first stone was laid on Oct. 4, 1859. The 
building is, or rather will be, 100 feet long by fifty broad, 
double towered and with a clerestorv. The material is brick 

* Since the little deluge of 1792 the better than Januaria; the latter, as well 

to^vll has often been threatened with de- as Uriibu, was not so fiercely visited as the 

struction, especially in 1802, 1812, and former in 1865. 
1838. In 1857 the Villa da BaiTa escaped 


and lime upon a foundation of ashlar. The front has the usual 
three entrances and five windows, and the graded pediment has 
introduced a little change into the popular monotony of facade. 
In the interior part}" walls set off two sacristies, which seriously 
diminish the space. At present all is scaffolded with Carnahuba 
palms, and the works are stopped by lack of funds. The whole 
affair is out of place and size, and the Villa da Barra looks like 
an annexe to its Matriz. 

On the south-east of the church square is a detached Casa 
da Camara, with a bell and six windows above, and a grating 
which shows the jail below. At times the floods have rendered 
it necessary to save the arcliives in canoes. The prisoners 
appeared, like the rest of the people, ''jolly," and here they 
need never sing with the starling, "I can't get out." The 
military force, paid by the Province, consists of one sergeant 
and ten men, whose duties seem principally to sound the bugle. 
The sentinel at the door leans against the wall ; he has neither 
collar nor shoes, his only weapon is a bayonet, and he much 
reminded me of the items which composed a certam corps on 
the Gold Coast, now disbanded. The last of the public build- 
ings is the Hospital de Sao Pedi'o. The Government assisted 
with funds a Brotherhood, which subscribed 1$000 each per 
mensem, and contmued to do so for a short time. The house 
still remains, but the inmates are at most two, and the good work 
may be said vii'tually to have been dropped. 

The Villa da Barra dates from 1753 — 4. Its municii^ality 
contains 10,000 to 12,000 souls. There is only one freguezia — 
Siio Francisco das Chagas, In 1852 — 54, the houses in the 
town numbered 660 and the population 4000 ; neither had in- 
creased in 1867. Its connection with the seaboard is very 
imperfect. The road to the cit}" of Lencoes (sixty leagues, each 
of 3000 bracas), was a mere '' picada " in 1855 — -a line of river 
fords, muds, and mountains barely passable, but passable. The 
best road to Baliia is through the old town of Jacobina (seventy- 
five leagues), a long leg to the east. It is described to rmi over 
a plain -s^dth three ''jornadas" or stages of twelve to fourteen 
leagues each, waterless during the dries ; the mule troopers, 
however, accomplish each one in the twenty-four hours ; then 
comes the Serra do Tombador, leading to the town, a stony 
ladeira or ascent, for which, however, the mules are unshod, 



and lastly from Jacobina to Caclioeira City all is comparatively 

Tlie people of the Villa da Barra breed cattle and a few mules ; 
their chief occupation, however, is the carrying trade,* and, like 
the West African seaports, they act as brokers between strangers 
and the people of the interior. We are now on the outskirts of 
the great salt formations, which, however, d^es not prevent 
the condunent being imported from the coast via Joazeiro. The 
saline matter is deposited by water chiefly in the vicinity of 
streams, and rock salt (sal gemma) has not 3'et been found. We 
visited further down several places where salt had been ''planted," 
that is to say, mixed with the soil, with the view of making it 
spread and, as it were, breed. The " Salineiros " collect and 
make it between the months of July and October. It is treated 
like salt]oetre, strained in bangues (coffers or hides), evaporated 
over the fire, and allowed to crystalUze. Sometimes it is exposed 
in " coclies " or huge troughs to solar action onl}^ and this 
simple operation would pay better if done on a grand scale. 
What it chiefly requires is purification, and the separation of 
the other salts, magnesia, for instance, which are equally dis- 
agreeable and deleterious. Some of it is white and fuie like 
sea salt; often, however, it is bitter and brown (amargoso e 
trigueiro), fit only for beasts. Finally it is packed for exjiorta- 
tion in hide-bags called Surroes (Surons). f 

The Villa da Barra do Pdo Grande has a high and unmerited 
reputation. I soon found how it had risen to fame. The 
Mineiros wish to see Januaria the capital of the new Province. 
The Bahianos prefer Carunhanha on the Villa da Barra, and 
the cause of the latter has been ably esjooused by the ex-Minister 
and Senator, Joao Mauricio Vanderley, the Baron of Cotigipe. 

"'^ The following list of my purcliaso« will bIioW tlie prices then current at the Villa 
da Barra : — 

1 Gf-arafao (4 bottles) of coxintry riilti . 

2 lbs. salt . . , . " , 
10 lbs. beef ...... 

16 Ibft. lard ,..,.., 
10 lbs. rice 

1 string (resta) onion.-r , , , , 

j^ quarter of fariuha = , , . 

Total , . , 7$ 130 
T The nicufciurc vavies everywhere ; hero tJic tSurro«3 is of 21 piato.s, say 50 lbs 

, 0$500 

. 0$130 

. 1$00G 

. 3$000 

. 1$600 

. 0$100 

> 0$800 


This influential Conservative is a ''son" of the place, and has 
a filial regard for its prosperit3\ My conviction is that the 
Villa is one of the worst sites that I have yet seen, and that it 
is fitted only to be a port or outpost for Bom Jardim or Chique- 



Seventh Tkavessia, 29 Leagues, 

the sand-dunes. — complicated approach to chique-chique.— the set- 
tlement described. — the xique-xique cactus. — good mutton. — 
hire animals to visit the diamond diggings. — the old freedman. 
— the trees and birds. — breeding fazendas. — the grove of carna- 
htjba palms. — lakes. — ascent of hills. — the servlgo or diamond- 
digging " do pintorsinho." — the village of santo ignacio. — origin 
of the diggings, and other peculiarities. — return-ride to chique- 
chique.— resume navigation. — the portals. — the storms.— reach 


" Ce beau pays pent se passer de runivers entier." — Voltaire. 

We did not pass a pleasant night. The air during the early 
hours was still and sultry (82° F.). Then the cold land-wind set 
in. At first a long monotonous song made the hours unpleasant ; 
afterwards came the lively splashing of Piranha, the '' devil-fish," 
and the muffled growl of the stream, which seemed to be mis- 
chievously inchned. 

Below the Yilla da Barra the Sao Francisco broadens, the con- 
taming ridges retreat, and the riverine valley is a dead flat. The 
heat greatly increases, altliough the channel trends between north 
and north-east, the direction of the Yento Geral. Boats must 
sometimes remain embayed for days near the low ragged sand- 
bars, and the crews congratulate themselves on having a dozen 
clear working hours. Accidents are so common that there is 
hardly a boatman who hereabouts has not been wrecked at least 
once. Suddenly, in the clearest atmosphere, the breeze dashes 
down upon the wide surface, the waves rise, and the canoe or raft 
is swamped. The greatest care is given to observing the premo- 
nitory symptoms, especially the '' redemoinhos," columns of sand 
sixty to seventy feet liigh, which career whirling over the plain. 


Boats creep along the windward or sheltered bank and make ready 
for the refuge -place before the ''yendaval" or squall bursts. 

We could not set off before 9*30 a.m. The vnnd began early. 
The first league showed on the right a blind channel, the ^' Ypo- 
eira funda," which, dining the floods, gives direct communication 
with Chique-Chique. A little beyond Cajaseu-a* of the Capitiio 
Jose Vicente is another bayou also impassable at this season, con- 
verging to its southern neighbour. These should be carefulty 
examined. The narroY\' opening, made practicable to admit craft 
at all times, would greatly assist navigation to Chique-Chique, and 
relieve the latter place of its main difficulty, direct approach. 
The channel, it is said, would be easily managed. We shall pre- 
sently skii't it when riding inland from Chique-Chique. On 
the other hand it must be taken into consideration whether such 
opening will not throw the thalweg to the right and greatly increase 
the amount of flooding. Fazendas and fazendolas were scattered 
in all directions over both banks. We landed on the right side to 
examine a place reported to contain limestone. It proved to be a 
mere " barreii'o." After we had passed sundry cultivated spots, f 
and Carnahuba groves standing up like huge palings, the furious 
wind compelled us to anchor at the head of a little sand-bar, the 
Ilha do Mocambo do Yento. This " Maroon village of the wind," 
an ill-omened and appropriate name, is considered one of the 
worst places. The channel bends to the east and the south-east. 
The bed is unusually broad, and the stream flows in the teeth of 
the Trade. Upon the Coroa we found diamantme crystals, and a 
scatter of acary, the armom'-plated fish, had been thrown awa}^ 
from the seines. The spiny outer sldn had been mummified, and 
the attitude was still that of the death-throe. 

Tuesday, Oct. 8, 1867. — The wind, after a fierce struggle 
through the night, made a feint of falling. It rose, however, with 
the sun and filmed over the Coroa with a gauze of sand which 
reminded me of the Arabian ^ilds. Even at 1 p.m., when we set 
out, advance was difficult. The left bank was dotted with small 
detached hills, and between Ai'eia branca and Hycatu| we entered 

* Probably from Acaya or Acaja (Spon- tliree-poled gallo-v\-s. The Arraial do 

dias vemilosa, in Tupy ybametara), a Poi-to Alegre, near a fine wooded rise of 

Burseracea resembling the Imbu or Imbu- Camabuba and Caatinga on the left, and 

zeiro. so forth. 

t Sambahiba, a little village with red X 'i'he '' good water. " 

milho hanging to dry upon a Yarao, or 

326 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BEAZIL. [chap. xxii. 

a land of ^'lencoes," or shrouds, as they were called b}'- the old 
Portuguese explorers. Sheets and heaps of the whitest sand, the 
degradation of Itacolumite, glittered in the sun, Hke the patches 
that lie about Diamantina. Here and there it was dotted with 
black points, dark green tufty shrubs, which at times the mirage 
converted into tall forests. In parts the substance becomes yellow, 
and resembles even more the low dunes lining an ocean shore. 
The underl}ing rock is probably limestone, and the formation 
will extend for many leagues dowai stream, especially on the left. 
Nothing could be more picturesque than this bit of the Sahara, 
especially when backed by a gloomy pall in the northern sky — 
here a sign of wind, not of rain — and when fronted by the steely 
stream, damascened by the golden glories of the setting sun. 

The main channel runs far to the north-west of Chique-Chique, 
and there was not water enough to float us over the direct line, 
about two miles long, passing to the south of the Illias do Gado * 
and do Miradouro. We were therefore compelled to skirt the 
whole western shore of the latter, which in length is at least seven 
miles, with four miles of extreme breadth. At its north-eastern 
extremity the navigable channel, a continuation of the blind 
Ypoeira, doubles back to the south-west in order to reach Chique- 
Chique. It is at least eight miles long, not including the nume- 
rous windings. This is the ''Barra da Picada," so called from a 
small place at its mouth. There is yet another passage, at times 
practicable, between the main stream and the Ypoeii'a, the "Barra 
da Esperanca," which passes between the smaller lUia do Gado 
and the Miradouro. This portion of the Sao Francisco is exceed- 
ingly complicated, and the network of channels can hardly be 
understood without a map. 

The great artery widens to upwards of a mile, and is marked 
by sno\\y sand-heaps, set in the darkest verdure, opposite the 
mouth of the Barra da Picada. This channel begins with a 
breadth of 500 feet between terra firma and the Miradouro, which, 
at its north-eastern extremity, fines off to a swampy point, the 
Ponta da Ilha. It presently narrows to 200 and 150 feet, and 
where it joins the Ypoeira to the north-east of Chique-Chique it 

*■ Tills is the lesser ''Illia do Gado," to tlie main channel : it is south of the Mira- 

thc west of the great Miradouro Island. douro, and it is insulated only during the 

The larger "Ilha do Grado" is the space floods. 
included between the blind Ypoeira and 


widens out to 700 j^ards. At first it makes a long " liorseslioe- 
bend" to the west. After that its course is direct. The depth 
will admit boats at all seasons, and the breadth is hardly sufficient 
to allow waves to form. Its tranquillity, especially enjoyable 
after the roughness of the great river, reminded me of those West 
African lagoons which subtend the shores of the boisterous sea, 
and wliich aid so much the loading of slave ships. The low banks 
on both sides, the dense bush, at times broken b}'' a bare talus, and 
the little patches of spinach-green fields with their rough fencing, 
vividly brought to mind the features of Dahoman AVhydah. 

We passed a few tiled huts on the proper right bank of this 
quiet channel, and the whitewashed chapel and hamlet of Santa 
Anna do Mii'adouro* on the eastern margin of its islet. We then 
entered the broadening mouth of the Ypoeira — at tliis season a 
backwater, and found a safe anchorage where the gusty north- 
wind can do little damage. At the port were a number of canoes 
belonging to fishermen and melon vendors. A barca had been 
stranded, and another was being caulked upon the beach. Above 
us rose the town, which was not less ''jolly" tlian its neighboui's. 
Drum and song, dance, laughter, and shouts of applause, pro- 
longed till dawn, showed that, despite the absence of festival, the 
*' folia" was not wanting. 

The next day opened so badly with the wind-clouds that I 
determined to rest the crew, and to indulge myself in a short "sisit 
to the nearest diamond washings. We began by inspecting Chique- 
Chique. The "porto" along the eastern bank is formed by a 
natm'al pier, a dwarf cliff, at this season some four feet above 
water. The material is a silicate of white-grey lime, in places 
granulated Avitli iron stone and puddinged with large and fuiely 
disseminated quartz. Containing silica and a considerable pro- 
portion of clay,t it will make the best hydraulic cement. This 
and the Lapa are the principal lime quarries. Chique-Chique 
annually sends up and down stream, between the Axilla da Barra 
and Joazeii'o, 1500 to 2000 alqueu'es. On the beach were canoes 
full of the finest water-melons. Horses were being groomed by 
the usual process of dashing water upon them from a large cala- 

* In jMr. Keith Jolmston'.s map " S. 15 per cent, of argile, tlie good, IG ; and 

Anna de Miradonro " is made a small town in those which make the best cement the 

upon the eastern hank of the Sao Fran- proportion rises to 25 and even 30 per 

Cisco. cent. 

f Ordinary hydraulic limestone contains 

328 THE HKTHLANDS OF THE BEAZli:. [vu\i\ xxii. 

bash. . Lads in naturalibus were preparing to batlie, and waslier- 
women and carpenters plied their trades. Spoonbills (platyrhyn- 
chus) stalked amongst the dug-outs, which had brought for sale an 
abundance of fish. The birds were not improved by civihzation, 
and their delicate pink plumage had turned grey with mud. 

Ui)on the bank-top we found a large space open to the stream, 
with a central cross suj)ported by a heap of stones. At the bottom, 
facing to the west-north-west, is the Chapel of N. S. Bom Jesus 
do Bomfim.* It is a poor, mean pile of brick and lime upon a 
stone foundation. The usual preposterous front was four windows, 
and no belfty-towers. The interior, anciently a burial ground, 
disj)lays a blue and gold high altar, with frescoed ceiling, and two 
side-chapels wdiere swallows had nested. The walls show a single 
miracle paj)er, dated 1804, and the congregation consisted of three 
old women, two in uniform black, the third girt with the white 
cord of St. Francis. The town extends on both sides and behmd 
the church, thus forming a truncated cross. The tenements near 
the creek show a water-mark two feet high. They can easily be 
raised upon platforms. The floods do not extend to the higher 
parts, and the people boast with justice that their ''assento," or 
site, is the best upon the river. The heavier rains begin to fall 
in October, and continue with breaks till May. The inundation 
lasts five months, from November to April. Already there is a 
freshet of six palms, and the indirectness of the water-course here 
makes a rise of one foot to four or five in the true Siio Francisco. 
There is some excitement in visiting and describing these 
places, now the most WTetched of '' rancheries," but destined to 
become the centres of mighty States. Chique-Chique runs nearly 
north and south ; as usual the long straight streets are parallel 
with the creek, and here they are almost sufficiently broad. Pave- 
ment is as yet unknown, but scatters of ironstone upon the hard 
ground render dust and mud equally impossible. A triangular 
"square," south-east of the clmrch, surrounds a detaclied Camara- 
cum-jail, and the iron-bars of the latter are fixed into wooden 
frames. Farther to the east tliere is a neat, whitewashed ceme- 
tery, with incipient catacombs. One Casa Nobre, Avith a balconj^ 
of quaintly jjainted wooden railings, and a few half-sobrados, have 
been built. The rest are ground-floor tenements, eacli witli its 

* N'^ S» <lo Boviifim (M. Halfeld). 


large compound and little "hanging-garden" of geranium, basil, 
and lavender (alfazema),* of onions and choice vegetables ; the 
latter is mostly a trough or a bit of canoe, raised on poles be3'ond 
the reach of ants and pigs. The tenements may number 180, 
but many of them are opened only on fete-days, vvhen 1500 souls 
find lodgings. 

The country behind the tovai is a field of various Cactaceae, which 
form contrasts. The dwarf of the family is the Quipa, with its 
large crimson fig, so much enjoyed by the parrot (Psittacus cac- 
torum) that the beak is stained red. Another pigmy is a bulb 
nearly a foot in diameter (]\Ielocactus, or Echmocactus), ribbed 
like a melon, and guarded at the angles by terrible thorns ; upon 
the top is an inflorescence, lilve a Turkish fez, and the people knovv^ 
it as the friar's head (cabeca de frade). Horses learn to like the 
soft spongy substance, which the plant takes so much care to 
preserve ; it keeps them in condition, and they fetch a higher 
price than those who refuse it. The i^eople declare that riding 
animals and black cattle learn to open the armed exterior by 
striking it with the hoof. There is the common flat Opuntia and 
the " Xique-Xique," + which is planted m hedges, and gives its 
name to the settlement. According to M. Halfeld, this is a kind 
of cactus which, roasted and peeled, has the taste of a batata or 
sweet potato. The almost general word is differently used in the 
several i^laces. Here it is applied especially to a tall " Organ- 
Cactus," which is almost a tree ; the angles vary with its years, 
in j^outli it is many-sided, and it ends life ahnost cylindrical. 
The shape also varies ; here it runs serpent-like along the 
ground, there it stands stiffly upright. One kmd has a fleshy 
white flower resembling wax-work; another (C. mamillaris) is 
patched with white fleece, as though it had robbed a sheep, and 
almost conceals its dark-red blossom. AVe shall meet ^nth other 
forms further down the Sao Francisco. 

I was surprised to see about a place so rich in Cactus, goats so 
small and stmited, whilst here were the finest shee^) of the Brazil, 
and mutton is justly preferred to beef. Hardly an}" pasture, 
except thorns, was upon the ground, yet a perfect assimilation of 

* The women are fond of these per- word is pronounced. T have prefen-ed the 

fumed herbs, and ornament their hair with form " Chiqiie-Chiqiie " for the settlement, 

the flowei-s. " Xique-Xique " for the plant; but the 

f Gardner writes Shuke-Shuke, as the distinction is not recognised by the people. 

330 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. xxii. 

food, as in tlie Somali countiy and on the Western Praii'ies of 
North America, kept the animals in the highest condition. The 
lambs wore a thick fleece, which disappears from the adult ; some 
are white, others are brown, all are thin-tailed, and not a few are 
bearded. No trouble is taken to breed them ; the owners, how- 
ever, have sense to pen at night the flocks, numbering thirty to 
fort3\* The usual price is 2 $ 000, or 3 $ 000 when the animal is 
A^erv fat. Horses, small but hardy, and with signs of blood, cost 
60 $000; good riding mules, which make Jacobina (sixty short 
leagues,) in four days, rise to SOgOOO or 100$ 000. The cattle 
is neat and sleek, apparently untroubled with ticks or " bernes." 
Besides stock-raising the country supplies, every year, 1000 to 
2000 alqueires of salt to the Upper Siio Francisco ; manioc planted 
after and taken up before the rains, gives good farinha ; maize 
and excellent tobacco are brought from the Assurua Eange. 
The people boast that their land is one of the richest, if not the 
richest near the river ; it produces gold and diamonds, fish and 
salt, and the wax-palm grows in vast forests. 

After some trouble about conveyance I hired for 3 $000 each, 
a horse and a mule, with the owner as guide. Cyriaco Ferreira 
was a tall, thin, old black, with a preposterous masticatory appa- 
ratus, and a scanty, scowling brow. He consulted me shame- 
lessly in the presence of his wife concerning a certain *' Gallica ; " 
here even white men talk about it before their families as if it 
were a ^' cold in the head." The frequent mutilations which 
now begin to meet the eye doubtless proceed from the use, or 
rather the abuse of mercurials, to which are added the ignorance 
and the recklessness of the patient, who, even when the facial 
bones are attacked, will drink spirits and take snuff. 

Our negro had been a good man and true as a slave ; a false 
idea of charity had emancipated him, and with freedom appeared 
all the evils of his race. Fawning as a spaniel to those who knew 
his origin, he was surly as a mastiff to us ; recalcitrant as a mule, 
he would loiter when we wished to advance ; he " trod upon our 
toes" at all opportunities, and with the real servile style he pro- 
ceeded to give his orders. Travellers who have even a constitu- 
tional aversion to a " row," are forced into it at times. When it 
is thrust upon one the only way is "to go into it," tooth and 

* The ]>rnzilian variety, called on tlic Amnzoiis "sheep of five rinarters," was not 
seen here, 


nail. This was done ; a few rough words, and clearing decks for 
action, soon brought back the old slave, but at times it jdelded to 
a passionate outburst of the new freedman. 

Riding down the Paia das Flores, we struck out into the open 
country, towards a long blue rock with a table-top summit, south- 
east of the settlement. This Serra do Pintor ^Y\U. be conspicuous 
for several da^-^s do^ai stream ; it appears a frustum of a cone, a 
second distance rising above a long sloping ridge. Cotton of 
smaller than usual size grew in the suburbs ; and the district 
be^^ond it, the Praia Grande, was clay strewed T\ith iron pyrites, 
which unless neutralized by underlying lime, must produce in- 
jurious sulphuric acid. Our path lay along the left bank of the 
great Ypoeira Funda, which bulging out forms a lake round a 
wooded central islet. Higher up the bed, it sends to the south- 
east a canal or navigable arm, which we shall presently sight. 
The Fazenda da Prainha was built upon the most unfertile soil, 
which produced only dwarf thorns ; attached, however, to the 
ranch was a large stockade of palm-trunks, and wandering about 
the fold were the fattest of sheep. Few j)eople were on the road, 
all were armed, and most of them were talking about a late murder 
in three acts — a chinking bout, a stab, and a shot. An old pro- 
l^rietor rode b}^ ^ith two immensely long pistols projecting far 
above his holsters, and the attendant slave followed with a gun 
slung over his shoulders. A typical sight was a woman on 
foot and a man on horseback carrying the bab3\ The tropeiros 
mostly drove horses ; here, however, we are getting into the 
countr}^ of the pack-bullock. These men boast that they travel 
all day, not only till noon, like the muleteers of the Southern 
Provinces, and that thus they cover an umber of leagues. But 
almost all were mounted upon pads supported by two broacas,* 
wliicli carried their salt and grain ; moreover the leagues are 
short, and it is easy to walk over two in an hour and a half. 

My companion could not travel ^^dthout wanting to diink water, 
which greatly amused the Brazilians. For this pm'pose we 
halted at the Fazenda de Suassica, one of the many breeding 
establishments — tiled huts, ranches, and large folds — scattered 
at short distances. Two youths, the sons of a neighbouring pro- 
prietor, who "^ith half a dozen wliitey-brown lookers on were 

* These square saddle-bags, witlx the hair outside, are now generally known as "Snrroes 
de Couro." 

332 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BT.AZlh. [chav. xxii. 

playing dominoes in a clay room limig witli hammocks, came to 
the door and asked us to dismomit. When coffee was finished 
came the usual queiy, 'Tois, que trouxerao de negocio?" The 
inevitable repl}'' puzzled every brain ; they must have thought 
that they had entertained unawares " diabos " — government men 
on no angelic errand — but they preserved their courtesy to the 
last, and held our stirrups when we remounted. 

Beyond Suassica the land became a deep sand of ruddy colour, 
and presently passed, as the house-walls showed, into a blood-red 
clay ; it was scattered with lime, and it is doubtless exceedingly 
fertile. The Favelleiro (arboreous Jatropha,) stunted near Chi- 
que-Chique, is here a tall and goodly tree. The thorny Mimosas 
and Acacias are hung with golden and silver blossoms, and the 
charming Imbuzeii^o perfumes the air. Here the growth is lo^\', 
di'ooping its flower-laden branches almost to the ground, and forming 
a shady bower, like the wild figs on the banks of the Lower Congo 
Eiver. Many trees have the smooth barks and straight spindles of 
the Myrtacese, especially the Pao branco, which sui^plies the hardest 
wood; they contrast curiously with the gnarled Imburana* (Bur- 
sera leptophlocos. Mart.), whose bole is hung with burnished yellow 
rags, the peeling off of the cuticle that exposes the green-blue 
cutis beneath. This tree 34elds a greenish-yellow gum or balsam, 
resembling turpentine, and the scent is a favourite with the wild 
bee, as is proved by the many places cut away by the hatchet to 
reach the combs. 

These strips of forest support, chiefly on the outskirts, a 
variet}^ of birds. Plovers coiu'se across the opens, large green 
paroquets rise screaming from the boughs, and Ardras of the 
usual two si^ecies, the red and the black, appear to us for the 
first time in a wild state. The " Encontro branco," or large blue 
and white winged pigeon of Diamantina, here called " Pomba 
Verdadeira," is a visitant from the hills; it aj^parently prefers 
Itacolumite formations. The '' Alma de Gato," a large, light- 
brown Coprophagus (?), seeks lizards and such small cheer. On 
the topmost twigs, especially of the shrubs, balances itself a 
snow-white bird with black wing-feathers, probably a Muscicapa ; 
we see it now for the fu'st time. High in air wheels the Urubu 

* St. Hil. (I. ii. 105) explains Imbu- " -rana " in the Lingua Geral, equivalent to 
rana by the Gruarani "ibiranae," meaning the Tortuguese "bravo" or " bravio," 
baiil, sdbille, tirvir. But tlie tcrminatiou means poisonous. 


Cacaclor, or liiinting viiltui-e, with crimson head and silver-lined 

AYe rode slowly through this interesting tract of wood, and 
present^ we came upon a bit of African scenery ; hedges of 
Cactus fencmg a large field, whose " black jacks " were about 
three years old. This is the Fazenda do Saco dos Bois, with 
the little chapel of X"" S"* do Amparo, and a scatter of huts, 
inhabited by the proprietors in partner slnp. We were civilly 
received by a man who was lying stratus in umbra, under a 
thickly leaved and now blossoming Jua.* The site is high 
ground, never mundated, although within a few yards of the 
" Canal," the south-eastern arm of the Ypoeha, which we passed 
near the Fazenda da Prainha. The back water was then flowing 
up it toAvards the Assurua lakelet, which it floods during the 
rains, and drams during the dries ; it was covered with water- 
fowl, but the fluid was so muddy and impure that our beasts 
refused tc touch it. The civil agriculturist, peasant I cannot 
call him, advised us to lose no time ; the hills, former^ blue 
walls, now looked near, and we could distinguish slips of white 
rock and patches of sun-burnt grass. But distances are deceptive 
in this unsmoked air ; the heat was unusual, and heavy storm- 
clouds were surging up from the west, — the especially ramy 
quarter.t The hills must attract every mist within then* range, 
and wet weather comes from everv direction. All were pravmg 
for the " Chuvas de Mangaba " (Hancornia)t or de Pu^a 
(Mom-u'ia Pusa, Gard.), § the showers which accompany the 
fruiting of these trees. 

Leaving the Saco at 4 p.m., we fell at once into deep sand, 
with a labyrmth of paths running tlu'ough the stunted blades 
of grass. A few yards led to the northern edge of a great 
Carnahubal, some four leagues long from north-east to south- 
west, and large enough to supply the whole river with candles. 
Every shape and age and size of the palm is here, from the 
chubby infant a foot liigh, to the tall thin ancient, vrhom a breath 
may fell. The panache gives tremendous leverage, and in parts 
the trunks lay prostrated by the north-eastern hurricanes, like 

* Tliis is a local name of the tlioniy f^pecles of ^Langaba, the IM. speciosa 

Joazeiro or Zhyphxis, (^jromes), and the IM. rubescens (Nees and 

f According to others, the north-east is jMart. ) 

the rainy quarter by excellence. § This shrul> produces a small dark 

^: St. Hil. (IL ii. 2L5) mentions two plum. 

334 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. xxii. 

the long thin alleys which canister cuts through a column of 
men. In other places water Hngered upon the black muddy 
ground, and the spike}^ bases of the trees, catching the floating 
weeds, showed the amount of rise ; this has a curious effect when 
the palms are numerous. Much of the Carnahubal during the 
great floods of the 3^ear must be crossed in canoes. 

After two hours' ride the Carnahiiba began to be mixed up 
with strangers ; the Baliii tree, the Mureci (B^Tsonima verbas- 
cifolia),* the Puca, and the Mangaba. Presently it ceased 
altogether, and we saw on the right the " Lagoa do Pintor," 
a green-margined tank, about 200 3'ards across, with a central 
islet of lush aquatic plants. During the floods, it is connected 
with the south-eastern branch of the Ypoeira, and at times it is 
almost dry. Amongst the trees beyond the water line are a few 
huts, whose inhabitants seem little aware of the wealth before 
them. This pond receives from the mountain slope a number 
of small diamantine streams, and the gems must settle in it. 
Artificial draining, however, is required, and such operations 
are far beyond the reach of the present occupants of the land. 

Presently we arrived at the hill-foot, cumbered with large and 
small blocks of stone, which have rolled from the upper heights. 
This is the western counter-slope of the Serra do Assurua, a 
meridional range that x)rolongs the diamantme formation of 
the Bahian QJiapada. The " ladeira " or ascent w^as a succession 
of steps, loose stones and slabs, between which the sandy soil 
appeared. Peaching the summit of the hog's back, Ave turned 
to prospect the "taboleiro" over which we had passed; the large 
*' Salinas," that supply salt to the river, lay upon it in glistening 
patches, and the Lagoa de Assurua, about one league in length, 
was surrounded by snoA^7 heaps of sand, like the '' Shrouds " of 
the Sao Francisco. This water drains the Serra do Pintor, 
and its village " Itaparica " takes from it every year ^300 worth 
of fish, here not an inconsiderable sum. The people speak of 
immense shoals which aAvait ex})loitation. 

Descending the counter slope of the ridge, we saw below us 
a small Servico, with a single house and a few thatched huts 
on both sides of a narrow stony guile}'. This Piaclio do 
Pintorsinho flows, like the neighbouring waters, from north-east 

*^ Also written "Alnnisi;"' tin; Imrk yields n \i\-Ark .lyci 


to soiitli-west, and feeds the Lagoa do Pintor. We had no 
letters of introduction, but we rode up to the doors and intro- 
duced oui'selves to the owner, Capitao Jose Florentino de 
Carvalho, wdio, after the hibours of the day, was reposing under 
the shadow^ of liis own fig-tree. Tlie fig, by the bye, w^as a wild 
Brazilian, Avhich lately took only eight days to cover itself with 
dense verdiu'e ; such is the exceptional fertility of these Ita- 
columite soils in the rare places where they are fertile. The 
Capitao and his amiable wife have been diamond washing in 
this ravine since 1864. He gave us some excellently cooked 
Siu'ubim, with the usual trunmings of *'pira6" and pepper 
sauce ; the Dona sent a cup of aromatic coffee, the hammocks 
were slung in a room under the fig-tree, and we should have 
slept like toi^s but for the heavy rain about midnight, and the 
tremendous snorting of Sr. Cyriaco Ferreira. I cannot call it 
snoring, the sound was that of ripping up the strongest new 
calico. When he did not snort he coughed, and — the place was 
somewhat close — as the leopard cannot change his spots, so the 
negro skin, even in a freed man, remams negro. Contubernation 
with the Hamite does not prepossess one in his favour. 

The next morning was warm and pleasant, but it spat, and 
it seemed to promise rain for the afternoon. Our ungracious 
guide was salt or sugar, so we resolved to visit Santo Ignacio 
alone. The cross-path lay over a wonderfully rugged succession 
of hills, forming prism- shaped ridges, whose crystal waters, 
delightfully clean and piu-e, discharged into the Assurua Lake, 
and where Itacolumite showed in all its grotesqueness. There 
were shapes of strange beasts, colossal heads and masques ; 
arches, tunnels, and funnels, worked and turned by wind and 
ram; huge portals, towers, and cyclox)ean walls, to leeward 
smooth and solid, on the weather side seamed into courses of 
masonry, that showed an imposing regularity. The granular 
quartz w^as not so finel}^ laminated as the Cerro formation ; some 
of it was hard, white, and polished like blocks of marble, and 
at fii'st sight it might have been easily mistaken for limestone, 
which, as the river bed shows, here and at Diamantina of Minas, 
Underlies the sandstone. It was also more generally stamed 
with oxide of iron, and it had large veinings of quartz, which 
sometimes formed external layers. Crystallized quartz and 
ferruginous matter, externally vulcanized, lay al)out in scatters. 

336 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. xxii. 

The characteristic feature, also remarkable in the Bahian 
Chapada to the east, is a bouldeiy, not pebbly conglomerate, 
which resembles that of the Scottish Old Ked. The huge blocks, 
man}' of them weighing several tons, contained proportionate 
pebbles, some rolled, others angular, here entire and there 
split, like the halves of almond kernels. The hard paste of 
sandstone, with nestings of manj^-coloured porphyry, will be cut 
into slabs of remarkable beauty. 

We crossed the Eiacho Largo, a narrow gully heading in a 
liigli bluff; its delicious water, the prerogative of the Itacolumite 
lands, feeds a tiny patch of green grass. Beyond it were three 
places where the rock wastes to a dazzlingly white sand, and 
this, in the lower levels where thorns grow, passes into soil, 
brown with a slight admixture of humus. Then we reached 
the highest divide ; a broad sheet of sandstone shows hollows 
and holes lilve the hoof-j^rints of horses. The vegetation v;as 
that of the Cerro, the dwarf Mimosa, and the Ostrich Shank 
(Vellozia) a few inches high, whereas in Minas Geraes we 
counted it by feet. On the right the eye plunged into the sandy 
plains which bore signs of floods, and where other sahnas 
glittered ; to the left was an old diamond-washing, from which 
the people had taken the sand arrested by the big boulders. 
In front and below us lay the little village of Santo Ignacio, 
upon the left bank of a Corrego, whose narrow valley was 
bounded on the further side by a wall of jagged stone, disposed 
in courses, piles, and peaks. The yellow-green vegetation told 
the poverty of the soil. 

We entered on foot the little mining village, much to the won- 
derment of its denizens. It had a Eua Formosa, a widening 
called a square, a miserable chapel, by courtesy termed a church, 
and men in ''Panama" hats, black coats, and white overalls. 
Every Monda}' there is a fair, frequented by j^eople from far and 
wide, and some 150^. or 200/. may change hands. The prices are 
high: what costs on the coast 0$100 here commands 1$000. 
We found the shop of a Mineiro from Formiga, who appeared 
excei:)tionally civilised amongst the " atrasado," arriere, race of 
the Province which still boasts of being the Ecclesiastical Capital 
of the Empire. The httle booth dealt in notions and provisions, 
red japanned tins of English gunpowder, pots, pans, and bowls ; 
onions, garlic, sardines in cases, and rum in demijohns. The 


wife being unwell, we could not breakfast, but we drank coffee and 
ate biscuits under the eyes of brown-faced men, whose principal 
office in life seemed to be expectoration. Tliis habit is general, 
as in the United States : perhaps the climate of the New World 
has tended to preserve it from abolition. Brazilians have told 
me that it preserves them from obesit3\ 

As far back as 1803, gold was known to exist in the Arassua 
Range, and it was worked in 1836. Diamond washing began in 
1840, at Santo Ignacio, which was then transferred from the mu- 
nicipality of Urubii to that of Chique-Chique, and the fii'st dig- 
ging, near the Pedra do Bode, a little down the Corrego, has not 
been exhausted. In 1841, the Chapada do Coral, some twenty 
leagues to the south, was found to contain " Cascalho," from 
which pieces of gold weighing four pounds were taken. In 
1842 — 3, Mucuje, in the Comarca of the Rio das Contas,* be- 
came Santa Isabel do Paraguassu, the chef-Heu of its own arron- 
dissement. Presentl}" diamantine deposits were found at Lencoes, 
so called from the sheet-rocks in the little stream of the same 
name, the western head-waters of the great Paraguassu River. 
The place was then a country hamlet, in the Municipality of the 
Rio das Contas. The discovery was claimed by M. Fertin, a 
Frenchman, afterwards established at Bahia. It is reported, 
hovv^ever, that before 1844 a party of slaves had collected in 
twenty da3's some 700 carats, which the}" offered for sale. These 
*' garimpeu'os " were put in i:)rison, but they refused to show the 
diggings ; they were then let loose, watched, and caught working 
at midnight. In 1845, Lencoes which had been in the munici- 
palit}' of the Rio das Contas, was made independent. Presently 
a rush of 20,000 souls took place there, and the city rose to im- 
portance.! M. Reybaud, Consul de France, Bahia, calculated 
from the date of discovery (August 1, 1845), a produce of 1450 
carats per diem, and a total of 400,000 carats = 18,300,000 

On retm'n, we walked up the Corrego to visit our kind host's 
*'lavra." The lower part of the bed belongs to another j)i'0- 
prietor, who, having water handy, can wash all the year round. 

* Generally written Rio de Contas, wliich cadores " were cliarged annually, at first 

is, I believe, a corruption. 0$020 per square braya, now 2 $000. 

+ It also became the chef -lieu of the They give permission to establish the 

E.eparti9ao, or Diamantine Department. "garimpo. " 
The papers (bilbetes) issued to the **fais- 

VOL. II. z 

338 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BEAZIL. [chap. xxii. 

Here we found tlie rock-crack forming the rill converted into a 
**can6a/' or *'batador; " the '* Cascalho " is thrown in, and the 
diamonds are arrested by cross-pieces. Following the left bank, 
we came to a pit some twenty feet deep, where the owner, seated 
in an arm-chaii', with book and snuff-box, was superintending the 
hands, who, should he happen to go away, lie down to sleep, if at 
least they find nothing to thieve. Two men, armed v/ith alavanca 
(crow-bar) and hoe, were loosening a bit of boulder, and were 
scraping up the desmonte, or inundation sand, which was carried 
up the pit side by a black girl, a youth, and a boy. The Cascallio 
must wait to be washed in the rains, and here great inundations 
or scanty showers are prayed for. The host complained that the 
increased rate of wages prevented all profit, nor did I wonder : 
deep works on so small a scale cannot pay. The formation (for- 
ma9ao) is here called Pe de Batea, small dark stones, like iron 
filings, which settle at the bottom of Ihe pan; there are also the 
fava, the ferragem, and fragments of hght or dark-green claj^ 
unprettily termed '' Bosta de Barata." The Capitiio showed us 
in a Pequa,* one little yellow stone. The gems are mostty small, 
the largest yielded by this pit was the half-vintem, one grain, or 
a quarter- carat. The Riacho do Pintorsinho has produced a 
stone of two vintens, and a neighbouring Corrego four vintens. 
A diamond of half an oitava (eight carats) had been washed in 
former years, and the result was a " difficulty," ending in a 
murder, and in the disappearance of the prize. 

AVe bade adieu to our liosi)itable host, the Caj)itao and the 
Dona, and returned to Chique-Chique with all possible speed. 
This short excursion had j^roved that " Cactus-town " has around 
it lands of immense fertihty, salubrious mountains, which as 
yet have only been scratched and played with for diamonds and 
gold, and, briefly, all the conditions requisite for a capital. It is 
connected to the east with the coast via Jacobina, Lencoes, and 
Caitete,! and to the west with the Piauhy and the Goyaz Provinces. 

* The Tupy word Peqiicii, meaning wood + Alias Villa do Principe. The word, 

generally, is applied to a bamboo-tuLe a written in a variety of ways, e.g. Caitete 

few inches long, from which the stones and Caitete, is a corrnption of Coa-eto, 

can be turaed out withont letting them virgin forest, and is thus s}TionjTnons with 

fall. Castelnan (ii. 343) describes Picoi, Caethe. In the days of Spix and Mar- 

_" Sorte d'etni fait d'une ecorce trcs Ilex- tins its neighbourhood was famed for 

ible." The miners have sundry snpersti- cotton. 
tions about these articles. 


We ma}^ easily j^redict that, despite the satii'ist, some one Y>'ill 
presently be proud to — • 

Ser barSo de Xiquexique. 

Oct. 11. — We easily ran down the Barra da Picada, which is, 
however, more tortuous than it appears in M. Halfeld's plan, and 
after tlu'ee horn's we made the main artery. The left continued to 
show the containing mounds, here dark with vegetation, there 
patches of white or yellow sand, and this feature will extend some 
eleven leagues do^ni-stream. The land is everj'where arid, and the 
principal features are the '^ Carrascal " and the Salina. In the 
afternoon we passed the Arraial da Boa Yista das Esteiras (of the 
mats), a little chapel-village with some fifty huts on the right 
bank ; and we presently anchored at a Coroa, known as the Ilha 
da Manga, or da Porta. Here a rich diamantine " formacao " 
abounded, and the gull, everywhere impatient of man's presence, 
screamed through the night, justifying Agostinho's epithet " bicho 
aburrido," * disgusting vermin. 

Oct. 12. — AVe are about to enter a Porteira or funnel, where 
the stream, after spreading out to five times that breadth, is com- 
pressed to 1500 feet. On both sides liigh lumpy ridges, some 
bare, others rising umbre- coloured from the green lines of water- 
shrubbery, either fall into the stream, or form bluffs that fiice it 
for some distance. Pamning down the sand-bar shore we passed 
with infinite trouble through the fii'st gate. On the right bank is 
the little village *' Tapera da Cima," with its broad j-^Doeira. 
Opposite rises the Pedra da Manga, i^rojecting southwards into 
the stream a ridge lilce that of Santo Antonio, prism-shaped, 
about 100 feet high, by half that breadth, red above and dark 
below. Here commences the great gisement of magnetic ii'on, 
the Itaberite or Jacutinga which we have already visited at Sahara 
and Gongo Soco ; no examination for gold has 3^et, I beUeve, 
been made. The strike of the metal is north with westmg and 
south mth easting,! and it is prolonged on both sides of the Sao 

* The word is originally Aboirecido, + In ^I. Halfekl's plan, the strike is laid 

abliorred, hateful, disgusting, the strongest down nearly due north and south. I am 

expression of dislike ; it is contracted to probably in error : these formations so 

abon-ido, which is pronounced by the " disorient " the needle, that peculiar pre- 

Caipira aburrido, which, if it signifies cautions are necessary. 
aught, means doakeyned. 

z 2 

340 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. xxii. 

Below this first portal the river, flowing to the north-east, 
widens out considerabl}^ The Vento Geral, which had been 
fitful and fractious at dawn, j^resently brought a cold wind and 
violent rain, which made us shiver, though the mercury showed 
73° (F.), about the temperature of a comfortable East Indian 
Club. We made fast to a Coroa till the storm had spent its rage, 
and then we attacked the second gate. Here again the bluffs on 
both sides correspond, and both have similar ports, sandy beaches 
a little down-stream. To the north were the few huts of the 
Taj^era de baixo, backed by a hill-knob ; and on the south, "As 
Pedras (do Ernesto)." We landed at the latter, a short row of 
hovels, and a single block with whitewashed walls. Here the 
rock chine, prolonging high ground behind, trends to the north- 
w^est ; it is broken into blocks, and shows cleavage as well as 
stratification. Pieces picked up by chance drew the magnetic 
needle round the compass card, and the substance appeared harder 
and closer than what we had seen in Minas Geraes. 

Again the channel bulged out, as we emerged from the second 
portal, which ends in a cliff of yellow sandy water on the left 
bank. And again the grey nimbus in the purple northern sky 
sent forth howling blasts, and a slanting rain which compelled us 
to anchor thrice. The pilot determined at last that this is the 
wet season, and somewhat regretted that he had left home. We 
presently made fast to a sand-bar in the stream, and prepared to 
night. Far to the west was a blue crest fading in the distance. 
We are now nearly on a parallel with Paranagua of Piauhy, on 
the southern head-water of the great northern Paranahyba Piver,* 
and this may be an offset from the dividing ridge between the two 
valleys, called in maps Serra dos dois Irmaos, and here the Serra 
do Piauhy. 

Oct. 13. — As work was not to be done by day, we deter- 
mined to try the night in places of minor interest ; the moon 
also was nearly full, and robbed the snag of a few terrors. 
Again, the yellow muddy colour of the margin told us that the 
Sao Francisco had fallen to the extent of six inches, and we 

* St. Hil. (III. ii. 250) explains Parana- sea," tliat is, tidal river. Three words in 

hyba as a corruption of Pararayba, "riviere the Lingua Geral are easily confounded, — 

allant se jeter dans une petite mer." Sr. hyba (hiba), an arm ; ayba (aiba), bud ; and 

J. de Alencar supplies the true derivation : hyba, iba, yba or ina, a tree, especially a 

^ Para,'' the sea, " nhanha," to run, and fruit tree, and often used as a desinence, 
"hyba," an arm, "running arm of the 


jealously watclied every spnptom, wanting as much flood as 
possible, with an eye to the Rapids. At o'lO a.m. there was a 
mist, or rather a tliin rain, the first *' Garoa "-fog since quit- 
ting the charming Rio das Yelhas, and under its influence the 
river showed a sea horizon. At 7 a.:j. we saAv over the dark- 
green right bank the Serrotinho (M. Halfeld's Serrote do Rio 
Yerde), with its two heads of the lightest leek-colour. A little 
to the south of it enters the Lower Rio Yerde, whose mouth is 
about 230 feet broad, and whose line admits of scantv navio-a- 
tion. Lilce its namesake, the water is distinctly salt. On the 
north-east was the Serra do Boqueirao, a long vanisliing Hne 
of buttresses, forming three distinct bluffs. Upon the left bank 
rose a little hill upon whose crupper sits the Yilla of Pilao 
Arcado, the end of this highly interesting Travessia.* 

* In Mr. Keith Johnston's map, the enters the Sao Francisco, about two miles 
dotted line o{ the Rio Verde is placed at above Pilao Arcado. 
soma distance below "Pilau," whence it 




Eighth Travessia, 3L^ Leagues. 

pilao arcado described.— ruined by private wars, — great iron forma- 
tions. — storms again. — bad approach to the villa do remanso. — 


" The Missouri and the Mississippi Rivers, with their hundred tributaries, give 
to the great Central Basin of our Continent its character and destiny." 

Mr. Ei'creft, July 4, 18G1. 

PiLAO Arcado is still a mere hamlet ; tlie original settlers here 
fomid a crooked ^vooden mortar, hence the corrupted name.* A 
natural pier of iron-revetted clay projects to the north-east, and 
throws the stream to the right hank, where it forms a sack ; the 
channel then sweeps to the north-west. The heach shows con- 
glomerate, based upon soft green shale, which is traversed by 
quartz veins. Three nameless or unnamed streets, running 
parallel with the ^vater, contains about 200 houses, including a 
" casa nobre " with wooden shutters. The Church of Santo 
Antonio is a mere "tapera" of bare wattle. The rising ground 
behind the settlement shows brown soil, growing tolerable cotton, 
and cactus in quantities ; higher up it is scattered with quartz, 
white and rusty, and with fragments of various-coloured Itaco- 
lumites. Here M. Halfeld places the beginning of the gneiss, 

* Properly " Pilao arqueado. " The aborigines was found xipon the ground, or 

terms do Pilao, or dos PiloSs, are often the neighbourhood had peaks, needles, or 

added to the names of streams, mountains, clieese-wrings, which the new comers com- 

and new settlements in the back-woods. pared with pestles and mortars. 
Eitler a coarse wooden mortar used by the 


or '' gneiss-granite," which will presently pass into true 

In former days Pilao Ai'cado washed gold from its hills, made 
sugar, which was dark but tolerabl}" heavy and well flavoured, and, 
being the centre of the Salinas, supplied salt to the settlements 
up and down-stream.* It became a villa, the chief place of a 
termo, and the residence of a Juge de droit ; presently it lost the 
privilege — desvillou-se — which was transferred to " Remanso," 
distant sixteen leagues. The principal cause of its decadence was a 
private war which lasted for some generations, and which remind 
us of the days of the Percies of Northumberland. Such things 
were in former times common all over the Brazil as they had 
been throughout Europe, and traces of the Montague and Capulet 
system are still to be found in many towns of the interior. Here 
tlie rival houses were those of the Guerreiro and the Militiio 
families, names that suited vrell with their fierceness. The head 
of the former, in late years, was Bernardo Jose Guerreiro ; whilst 
the latter were "Captained" by the Commendador, Militao 
Placido de Franea Antunes. This distino'uished " valentiio" f for 
nine or ten years defied the power of the Imperial Government, 
here perhaps a unique feat, and he appears to have been lilve the 
dreaded " Defterdar" of Egypt, a man of peculiar personal " grit." 
At the Yilla da Barra I saw one of his victims who had lost both 
hands, and I heard of another whom for a greater offence he had 
caponized. He died in 1865, t aged sixty-two, and, as was said 
of a certain St. Paul of Scotland, that Militao merited the epitaph, 
" Here lies he who never feared the face of man." Since the 
death of this energetic person, who "will long be remembered as 
the " Brigador Militao" — Militao the Fighter — Pilao Arcado and 
the neighbourhood have known quiet da3^s. It showed as a novelty 
sails applied to a large ferry boat. 

Eesuming our work, we found the river trending generally to 
the north-east, but often breaking to the west, whilst a multitude 
of islands and sand-bars rendered the course very devious. The 
channel, in places two miles broad, contained much more dry 

* St. Hil. (I-II. i. 293) mentions the Sal of Roster's Travels, " le valentoens s'age- 

do Pilao Arca«io, corrupted to Piloes Ar- nouilla. " 

cados, from the Pi'ovince of "Fei-nambom," Ijl M. Halfeld (Relat. pp. 105 — 111) 

now Bahia. speaks of this brave as one who had de- 

f I need hardly wai-n the reader that we parted life, 
must not say, as in the French translation 


land than water ; the branches were often bigger than the Rio das 
Velhas, and in parts, especially on the left bank, a narrow natural 
canal, the '' Paranamirim " of the Amazons River, had been laid 
off by long, thin tracts of insulated ground. A little above the 
Upper Remanso (Remanso do Imbuseiro), the stream winds sud- 
denly from north-east to east, with southing. The line now 
becomes populous, and on the left bank the fields are fenced in. 
The waterside abounds in a lush growth of Capim Cabelludo or 
hairy grass, and above it is a wooded wave of ground toj^ped by a 
blue-green cone. On the other bank is the Serra do Boqueirao, 
the northern extremity of the Serra de Assarua. The blocks, 
separated b}^ low ground, where the drainage passes, were well 
defined by the cloud- shadows, and faced the river hke cliffs 
frontmg the ocean. Near the summit are long white lines of per- 
l^endicular wall, regular as if fortifications had been thrown up by 
the Titans ; below them the reddish-brown ramp, a2:>parently 
clothed with dwarf bush, slopes at the usual angle. The material 
is Itacolumite, based, according to M. Halfeld, on granite or 
gneiss (schistose granite). 

At the Boqueirao Grande, or Great Gap, between the bluffs, the 
river again bends to tlie north-east, and a little below, off the 
Fazenda da Praia, there is a bad rock in mid-stream. Presently 
we passed on the left Caraua,* the large white house and 
tiled out-houses of the old " Brigador Militao." A " bull's eye " 
glared fiercely at us from the east, and an African rain- sun had 
warned us to be prudent. We made fast to the north of a Coroa, 
called Ilha do Bento Pires, from some huts on the left bank ; 
and here we found a large barca moored in expectation of the 
" temporal." This squall did not come on till dark; en revanche 
it lasted through the night. 

October 14. — We proceeded cautiously down the channel, which 
is here shallow and bristling with crags. The valley is watered 
on the east by the Serra do Boqueiraosinho, a prolongation of the 
Boqueirao, and on the summit there is a " taboleii'o alto," with 
fine fertile lands. At 11 a.m. we landed near the Serrote do Velho, 

* M. Halfeld writes this word Carna. something to say about this most important 

In Tu^jy, howevei', it is Caraua and Caraua- genus, whose edible fruit gives spirits and 

ta ; lieuce corrupted to Caroa, Caroata, vinegar, and whose fibre, valued for ham- 

Caragoata, Grravata (in the Bay of Rio de mocks and nets, is current as coin in parts 

Janeiro), and (Bromelia) to Karatas by the of the Brazil, 
botanist. In a future volume I shall have 


the most southerly of three trimnion-shaped buttresses, which 
we had seen from early dawn looking blue and small. The nar- 
row ledge supx^orted a few pauper huts and bore poor bush upon 
a red clay, too ferruginous to be fertile without lime. Crossing 
a foul backwater behind the settlement we ascended the hill-slope ; 
it is scattered over with red Itacolumite, cut and cloven by quartz 
vems, and with magnetic iron, the hardest possible Jacutinga, 
black and amorphous. As fuel here abounds, and transport 
as well as water-power are at hand, it ma}^ some day prove 

From the hill top we had a good view of the river, which here 
narrows, and the gut is rendered dangerous b}^ snags, shoals, and 
a large central rock. Here again M. Halfeld would control the 
stream by fascines — a hopeless task. We crossed to the left 
bank a stony floor remarkably rich in shells (No. 3), which are 
now common on the river, and which will extend to the Great 
Rapids ; those lying upon the sand-banks were empty, and the 
animal seems to prefer shallow water near the edges. The storm 
had now worked round to the south, and the scene looked 
''ugly" as the mouth of the Gaboon River before a tornado. 
The sky was hung witli purple black, white-grey cottony mists 
lay upon the earth, and the water gleamed with a sickly yellow. 
Two men were placed at the helm, and presently the fierce 
"rebojos"* were down upon us, driving on the "Eliza" with 
furious speed, and tearing to pieces the sm'face of the stream. 
We were compelled to paddle across — always a risky process, as 
" broaching-to " swamps the raft; tufts of shrub emerging from 
the water showed where a Coroa had lately been. A bow-shaped 
ripple to the right hand denoted the bank upon which we 
grounded ; all sprang into the water till the "Eliza," vigorously 
pushed and shoved, sloped over to the safe side. At the bottom 
of the reach which rmis from south to north, we had seen 
" Remanso ;" the site is a wave of ground gradually suiking to 
the deep still water f which gave the place a name ; from afar the 
appearance is striking, but a nearer prospect shows little to 

A single barca was being built upon the clay bank, where 

* The Rebojo is a gale like the Pampero + At the time when I passed it the 

further south ; in the plural it is synony- *' remanso" in front of the town had be- 
mous with refegas, raflfales, gusts. come a strong stream. 

345 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap, xxiii, 

several craft lay decaying. Tlie Villa do Eemanso, which till 
eight years ago was an Arraial or village, extends along stream 
from north to south. The houses straggle down towards the 
water, and the suburbs wander over the higher land. It is fronted 
by a large flat island, and below it the channel is narrowed by 
sand-bars and shoals. To the west, a lumpy blue rise projects 
from the dividing ridge between the valleys of the Sao Francisco 
and the Paranahyba,* while down-stream are the Morro do Marco 
and the picturesque Serra do Sobrado, whose crooked cones, 
quoins, and plateaux form an outline like a crested sea rushing 
to the north-west. 

The houses of the new Villa may number 300, and many of 
them show a water-mark two feet high. The rains had deposited 
big puddles in every street, and the damp heat reminded me of 
Zanzibar. A ragged square to the north still bore the platform 
of poles erected to hail the return of July 2nd — the Provincial 
Independence Day. There is another open space to the south, and 
the Chapel of N^ S^ do Rosario, which appeared so grand in the 
offing, was a bald little chapel, with its ruined sacristy to the 

The people number about 1500, more or less. Here men are 
so incurious that after living thirty years in a hamlet of fifty 
houses they have never taken the trouble to count roofs or noses. 
We met with, however, some signs of animation ; the tailor was 
at work, and beer — everywhere the test- of civilization — was for 
sale in the shops. Salinas and good breeding grounds t lie on 
both sides of the stream. The popular complexion, however, 
shows sign of dyscratia, and a French " Commis-voyageur," col- 
lecting the debts of his Bahian employers, complained of fever, 
and declared that life at Remanso is " heute roth morgen 
todt." The " curandeiros " have given some dietetic ideas, 
and have taught the sick to use bitters rather than sweets. 
Lieut.-Col. Jose Cirino de Souza, who acknowledged by a visit 
my introductory letter, was astonished to see M. Davidson 
devouring sugar, more Americano, after suffering severely from 


At 4 P.M. we set out, and having run a league down-stream, Ave 

* The ridge cannot he of importance, as t We here caught the first carrapato- 

it does not prodiice any but the smallef^t tick since leaving Uruhii. 


anchored at a Coroa opposite the Serra do Sobrado. Here we 
seemed likely to rue the night of 

Mali culices ranasque palustres ; 

and, in addition to the gnats, the mosquitos, \Yhicli during the 
day had comfortably housed themselves under the awning and in 
the nooks of the ajojo, began to sing and stmg. The latter, how- 
ever, after a few minutes rose and departed ; only a few unusually 
pertmacious passed with us the night. Presently, as the sun 
disappeared, hosts of large ruddy bats (noctiliones) wheeled with 
their jerking flight, aud skimmed the surface of the stream. The 
thermometer speedily fell to 68° — 70° (F.), and the high wind 
combined vdth the saturated atmosphere made us tremble with 
cold. At the same time it effectually silenced the frog concert. 

Oct. 15. — This furious weather is, they say, the effect of the 
full moon, and the wind shows no sign of weariness. On the 
right bank a block of mountains rise suddenly from the *'Baix- 
ada," or plain, and prolongs itself down the stream. To the left 
is the abrupt Sobrado, with cones and outliers. The upper parts 
were bro^m, and the lower skii'ts were alread}- turning green ; the 
hasty drainage probably causes this exceptional phenomenon. 
M. Halfeld makes the material "Itacolumite with hydrate of iron 
and pyrites, " the sign of auriferous formation. The name is 
derived from a feature which will be common further on, a tall 
pile of white stone, emerging from the bush, and not unlike a tvro- 
storied house. As we a2:>proached (7*25 a.m.) the low and sandy 
Ilha da Tapera (do Muniz) an " olho de boi" drove us across the 
waves, which swept over the raft platform, and in a few minutes 
we found shelter amongst the shallows to the left. Here we 
passed the day, imprisoned by the north-east wind. Happil}^ I 
had with me a few pocket classics, the woe of my youth, the 
neglect of my manhood, and the delight of my old age, and with 
Hafiz and Camoens, Horace and Martial, occupation was never 

Beyond Remanso the channel bends round du'ectly to the east, 
and runs in long reaches, with more or less of northing, but 
seldom trending towards the west. The wet weather will now 
cease ; the rainy season will break in mid-November, and last 
only four months ; and the showers, which in other parts begin 
and end the true rains, are often absent. The skies will be clear 

348 ' THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BEAZIL. [chap, xxiit, 

ultramarine, and the evaporation excessive ; book-covers will 
again curl up, and ink will dry in the pen. The sensation w^as at 
first that of a St. Martin's summer,* and, though we had been 
threatened with all manner of sufferings from the sun, I judged 
the climate to be very healthy. On the other hand we are enter- 
ing a funnel, a fine conductor of wind, and barcas sometimes take 
fifteen days to cover the 108 miles f between this and Joazeiro. 
The gale will sometimes last even through the night, and I find 
in ni}' journal that every day's Trade is w^orse than the da}^ before. 
The draught increases because the land becomes more sandy, and 
there are frequent tracts of rich Jacutinga. Below Remanso also 
we miss upon the Coroa the diamantine ''forma^ao," and this 
suggests that sometimes the supply of the upper bed is not washed 
from a great distance. Of the granite and carbonate of lime I 
will speak when we reach their limits. 

Oct. 16. — Despite the head wind we set out at dawn. Passing 
the Ilha Grande do Zabele, a monster of an island, we saw in the 
stream lumps of whitish rock, which proved to be pure limestone. J 
After two hours we were driven to take refuge on the right bank. 
Here the land is inundated, and the short manioc must be taken 
uj) before the floods. The plots were defended against cattle with 
a wealth of timber. The marshy soil i)roduces the largest and 
spiniest ''Tucums;" the stems were at least thirty feet high, 
double the normal size, and the thorns were strong enough to 
pierce a cow's hide. This Palm (Astrocaryum tucum)§ is so unlike 
a palm that Sellow would not admit it into the family, and at first 
sight the stranger feels disposed to agree with him. It is found 
growing upon the seaboard, and extending to altitudes of 1000 

* Tlie pilots, indeed, called it the ' ' vo- mean, 

ranhico," which breaks the rainy season § This is the Toucoun of P. Yves d'Ev- 

about December or January. In Peru it reux (1613). It is mentioned by Piso 

happens about Christmas ; hence it is and Manoel Ferreira da Camara (Descrip- 

called " El Verano do Nino " — the Summer 9am fisica da Comarca dos Ilheos). Ar- 

of the Babe. The Simniards, be it re- ruda (Cent. Plant. Peru.) has a poor oijinion 

marked, are far more poetical in thought of the fibre, and his description has been 

and feeling than the Portuguese ; it is the analysed by Koster (Api:)endix, vol. ii.). 

Arab versus the Roman. On the other hand, John Mawe attempted it, and was duly 

the Portuguese have produced far better criticised by Prince Max. (i. 118). In the 

poets than the Spaniards. Compendio da Lingua Brazilica, by F. 11. C. 

+ The pilots who, I have said, always de Faria (Pard, Santos e Filhos, 1858), we 

exaggerate distance, make 40 instead of find that the Tupys called the fruit of the 

36 leagues from Remanso to Joazeiro, and Tucum, " Tucuma ; Mr. Bates (i. 121) 

18 instead of 16 to Sento Se. Avrites Tucuma; and the Peruvians call 

i M. Halfeld (Relatorio, p. 117) calls it " Chambira." 
them " Rochas Vivas," whatever that may 


feet, where it prefers sliad}^ ground. Usually the ''frele palmier" 
is from twelve to sixteen feet in height and five to six inches in 
diameter. The hard black nut produces an edible almond ; the 
fibre is drawn by folding the foliole and pulling out the nervature 
of the parenchyma with a peculiar knock. The novice who 
ignores the twist is sure to break the leaf before the threads are 
drawn out naked, and a practised hand makes onl}^ one-eighth of 
a pound per diem. The practice is, doubtless, derived from the 
" Indians," who make their bow-strings of '* tucum" fibre, cotton, 
or Bromelia-bast. Maceration was tried and failed, as the leaf 
decayed at the end of a week. On the Brazilian seaboard Tucum 
thread is used for fishing-nets, and bales of the greenish yarn pass 
as mone}^, with the average value of 2 § 000 per pound. On the 
Sao Francisco River the Tucum is also valued by seine-makers. 
The leaves when young make good mats and baskets, and when 
old, thatch. We cut down many of these prickly palms for 
walking-sticks. They are strong, heavy, and elastic, polishing to 
a fine dark colour, like those of the Brejalmba palms (Astroca- 
ryum Ayri). 

Here we struck upon and followed a cattle path leading west. 
The surfiice was sandy, with platforms of slabs or lumps, compact 
or scattered, of carbonate of lime, almost marble, ready to make 
a shell road. Nothing could be finer than the soil, which in 
X^laces was flooded by the late rains. We were charmed by the 
vegetation. The " Inga" Mimosa was hanging itself about with 
soft white balls, whilst the Jua (Zizyphus) and the Favelleiro in 
bud gave out the most grateful odour. The Pao Pereira* (a Cas- 
suvia) bore apple-like flowers ; it gives wax ; the bark is used for 
fevers; and an extract of it kills, like mercury, the " bernes" that 
appear in the wounds of cattle. The leguminous "Pao de Collier" 
(Spoon-tree), a congener of the far-fiimed "Brazil-wood," turns 
u]) its holh'-like leaves, as the frizzly fowl does its feathers. The 
Convolvulus displays especial beauties, and the species of Big- 
nonia(?) known by the general term " Acoita Cavallo," or " Switch 
horse," overrun the trees, forming splendid canopies Avith delicious 
perfume. One bears trumpet blossoms of the finest mauve colour, 
and the other, silver-gold with leek-green leaves, is a delight to 
the eye. We shall often see them down-stream. Many of the 

* Or Pereiro : it is mentioned by the System. 

350 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap, xxiii. 

growths had a spicy odour. The Cactus was everywhere, from 
the Turk's Fez to the tall Chandelier, nor were the Bromelias less 
in force. The aloe-formed species (Vellozia Aloifolia) was putting 
forth long spilves of deep-pink flower, tipped with purple and hght 
blue. Another, called by the general term Caraua, (Bromelia 
variegata), had whitish-green transversal rings upon the dark- 
green surface, and a terminal spur, sharp as a scorpion's sting, 
which reminded me of the '' Hig" of Somali -land. This species 
produces the best white fibre for hammocks, and it is stronger 
when not macerated in water. 

Presently w^e reached the base of the '' Serrote do Tombador." 
It is a detached buttress, now a common feature, and, from 
different points of view% it appears circular, pjTamidal, or cunei- 
form ; it looks higher than it is for want of comparison. The 
material is magnetic iron,* of which traces are found in the 
clay of the river bank : and it is based upon limestone, its 
natural flux. The ore v>^as almost pure, and large fragments 
might have served as anvils ; it broke into rhomboids, glittering 
with finely diffused mica, and it was banded with the whitest 
quartz, and here and there faced with a paste of i^udding stone. 
The needle was so much affected by it, that we w^ere compelled 
to take the sun for our guide. Eock crystal, the ^' flower of 
silver," was scattered about, and quartz seamed with black mica 
glittered like galena. 

A sharp ridge, striking east and west, crested the hill, wdiich 
may be 250 feet high ; the northern flank is precipitous, but it 
is easily ascended from the south and from the south-east. 
The Mimosas and thorny trees become rare as w^e ascend, and 
presently disappear, the Bromelia dwindles to three or four 
inches in length, without, however, any abatement of its inju- 
rious thorns ; the cjdindrical cactus is mostly in decay, and from 
the irregular cleavage of the hill-top, the Macambira raises its 
tall flower spikes waving in the air. Iguanas and lizards, real 
salamanders for sun-heat, had here made their homes. We 
passed the earths of the little Moco coney, and bleached shells 
(No. 4), rare below, above common. At this season, unfortu- 
nately, all are dead, and the young race will not appear till the 
rains set in. A pair of fine pearl-grey hawks, with white waist- 

* Ferro Oliglsto, M. Halfekl (Eel. p. 118). 


coats (Falco plumbeus ?), screamed at us, hovered over our heads, 
and seemed prepared to do battle : probably the nest was near. 
These bh'ds have a rapid flight, and are said to be good 

From the summit we had a view which disclosed at fii'st glance 
the gigantic scale of the denudation.* The yellow stream flowed 
in a broad band at our feet, through a plain subject to floods, 
and with a mmimum breadth of six leagues. It was buttressed 
by a number of deceptive cones, like that upon which we stood ; 
some grey-coloured with limestone, others dark with oligiste, and 
their superior hardness had preserved them from the common 
destruction. Both sides of the valley were highlands ; to the 
north the forms were less regular, and the softer portions had 
been worn away. On the south appeared three long terraces 
curving into several bays ; below the horizontal surfaces of the 
upper heights long white hues of perpendicular wall, lil^e sea 
chfis, capped their slopes, regular as if laid out by the hand. 

Descending the hill, we found the wind breaking the current 
into backward-rolling yellow 3^east. Occasionally taldng shelter 
under a Girao of four posts with fascined top, we collected the 
zebra'd snail-shells scattered over the fields. They were met 
with chiefly in the Maniba,t the dwarf manioc, which ripens in 
six or seven months. At 2'30 we embarked, but shortly after- 
wards an opalescent '' Olho de boi," crowning a thin column of 
ram which was falling in little sheets all around, drove us to an 
anchorage under '' As Queimadas." Here the bank, twentv-two 
feet high, is cut into broad steps by the floods which spread two 
miles into the countr3\ The people attribute the extensive 
caving in | of the side, where, by-the-bye, the river forms a gut, 
to the gambols of the monster " Minhocao" in the daj's that were. 
No one, however, would afiirm that he had seen the "Worm." 

The little settlement contains about fifty thatched huts, the 
people fish, breed cattle, sheep, and long-legged pigs, cultivate 

* "Tliey reminded me of Mr. Bates' bably the ''manacoba" v/liicli Gardner 

description of flat-topped hills between applies to a large si^ecies of the Jatropha. 

Santarim and Para, in the narrow part of The root was the staff of life to the Bra- 

the valley near AlmejTim, rising 800 feet zilian "Indians," and the civilised race 

above the present level of the Amazons." has inherited from them an immense ter- 

f Usually "jManiba," or "Maniva," is minology descriptive of the plant: a vo- 

the stalk of manioc, the root is "man- lume might easily be filled Avith it. 
dioca," the juice is " manipuera," and the X " Desmoronamento. " M. Halfeld (Eel. 

leaves aro " mani:3oba. " The latter is pro- p. IIP) also heard this legend. 

352 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BEAZIL. [chap, xxiit. 

maize and manioc, and send to Remanso fruits, oranges, and 
limes, grown upon the other bank. Despite the sunset of purest 
3^ello\v gohl, the high east wind blew all night, and lowered the 
mercury to shivering point, 68° (F.). The repose was not com- 
fortable, the tender-canoe bumped unceasingly against the "Eliza," 
and the latter rocked like that great sliij) which admitted the cow 
into the ladies' cabin ; the village drunkard periodically visited us, 
asking for fire till the small hours, and the dog Negra received 
him with furious barkings. 

Oct. 17. — A fine sk}^ and heat-promising sun were perfect con- 
ditions for a gale. AVe i)assed on the right bank the Fazenda do 
Monteiro, a clearing with tiled huts. Behind it is the Morro do 
Monteiro ; it is a cone seen from the west, from the east a saddle- 
back with smaller adjunct ; the colour is grey, and we picked up 
onl}^ sandstone and ferruginous quartz. After three hours of vain 
struggling, we anchored at Trahiras on the southern bank; here 
also is a Morro, which yielded Itacolumite and quartz.* On the 
opposite side, the Serra do Pico w^ith the conical Morro do Chifre 
form a segment of an arc, whose hollow is to the stream. It is a 
low mass with " flancs tourmentes " and cups which, due to 
weathering, suggest parasitic craters ; a large ypoeira flows past 
its southern base. 

Resuming our task in the afternoon, we were soon driven to 
the Fazenda do Oliveira, six leagues from Sento Se. The place 
swarmed with negrolings and poultry, amongst which were a 
tame Jacu (Penelope) and a peacock, which surprised us with 
its melancholy cry. A fine fat pig (capado) was offered for 
10 $000. The proprietor, Lieut.- Col. Antonio Martins, stalked 
about the premises, but did not address us as we brought no 
introductory letter ; had he been a Paulista or a Mineiro, we 
should have seen more of the inside, less of the outside, of his 

October 18. — An awful stillness at dawn was a bad sign. 
The river had greatly fallen during the night ; we grounded 
heavily at the outset, and we had hardly turned the point when 
the cuttingly cold east-wind set in, and drove us ashore, whilst 
the deep blue cloud-bank threatened to keep us *' in quod." 
All our attem^^ts to break prison were unavailing till the after- 

* Here M. Ilalfehl iownd vcinf< of chlorite and pyrites. 


noon, when the increased heat xiroduced flows shiftmg to the 
south. We i^assed the thatched huts, with here and there a 
tiled house, called ''As Ai-eas " and " dos Carapinas,"* backed 
b}^ high waves of white sand. After working five houi's to cover 
nine miles, we were driven to the right bank, near the Povoacao 
da Lagoa. A swamp behind it swarms with water-fowl, and 
on the northern or oj^posite bank is a little stream, the Barra das 

October 19. — This day's weather reflected that of yesterday. 
We set out at 5 a.m., and were soon forced to lay up under the 
shelter of a Coroa. On the northern bank, rising from chocolate- 
coloured bush, was a white-capped dome with a bald ridgey head, 
and further to the east, the Pico de Santarem, a sharp little 
cone. Here the crew sold part of their stock to a stout young 
fellow, the main of whose dress consisted of a bit of leather. 
He can always catch fish and sell it when caught, and he 
professed the profoundest indifference for amlhing but straw hats 
and sweetmeats. The sands supplied us with an abundant col- 
lection of live and dead shells (So. 3). 

At 1*40 P.M., when the fiercest gusts had blown themselves out, 
we again began to wind between the island, sandbanks, and 
shoals, which rendered steering a difficult task. The right bank, 
populous with villages and farms, was very rich land ; canoes 
were fastened to the beach, and i^iles of wood, cut and squared, 
stood ready for sale. Here the stream was overhung with a 
shrub, whose homely form we had but lately remarked. The 
peo]ole call it Mangui (here Hibiscus) ; it is, however, a dwarf 
willow, which grows in beds, and supplies strong and supple 
mthes. The leaves are spiny at the edges, somewhat like the 
holl}', but by no means so well armed ; the rest of the shrub 
reminded me of the Amazonian Salix Humboldtiana (Willd.), 
according to Mr. Spence t the onl}^ species of true willow known in 
the hot equatorial plains. 

As we advanced the river showed a clear channel, and we 

* "Carapina" in the Lingiia Geral is J (Journal, p. 90, R. Geog. Soc. , vol. 

translated Carpiiiteiro ; it is possibly an xxxvi. of 1866. ) Mr. Davidson remarked 

"Indian" corrujjtion of the latter word ; that evei-jiihing is thorny in these lands, 

but it is popular in Minas Greraes and on even the -willow. I did not neglect to 

the Sao Francisco. collect specimens of this curioixs shmb ; 

t Also written Itans and Intanhas. unfortunately they were lost, 
Itan in Tupy means a shell generally. 

VOL. II, . A A 



[chap. XXIII. 

passed on the right bank the barras or mouths of two streams, 
"da Ypoeira," and " de Sento Se."* The former drains a 
lagoon to the west-south-west, and the latter is fed by the 
southern highlands. At 4 p.m., after again wasting five hours 

over nine miles, we came to an anchorage- 

-the Porto de Sento 

* In Mr. Keith Johnston's ma]^ we 
find helow Sento Se the month of a long 
dotted line, the " R. do Salitre," which, 
with a course of some 35 leagues, drains 
the western counterslopes of the ' ' Serra 
Cliapada Diamantina. " The people assured 
me that the stream falling in above Seuto 

Se is of very limited extent ; and, as will 
be seen, the Riacho do Salitre enters the 
main artery close above Joazeiro. Here 
the influents greatly diminish in number 
and importance : the flanking ranges 
ajiproach the river valley, and render it very 
difierent from the higher stream. 



Ninth Teavessia, 18^ Leagues. 

sento s^ described.— ixdolexce of people. — the porto.— the women. — 
long delays by winds. — pretty country. — village near the ilha 
de santa anna. — we attack the cachoeira do sobradinho, the 
first break after 720 miles. — our life on the river.— precautions 
for health. — rkach the villa do joazeiro. 

O prospecto, que os olhos arrebata 
Na verdura das arvores frondosa, 
Faz que o erro se escuse a meu aviso 
De crer que fora hum dia Paraiso, 

Cara. 7, 75. 

The *' Porto de Sento Se"* consists of fishermen's huts in a 
row, separated by a tall wooden cross ; a few of the tenements 
are tiled, most of them are thatched, and the walls show a water- 
mark three feet high. All have small compomids growm with 
shrubs, especially the Castor-plant. The soil is w^hite and sandy, 
and the floods penetrate deep into the land. It is difficult to 
understand wdiy the first dwellers did not prefer the opposite 
bank, where, a few yards higher up, the channel is clean, and 
there are two undulations wliich the waters can never reach. We 
Walked to the Villa de Sento Se, about a mile (1550 yards) to the 
south-west. The poor dry i^lam, now coarse yellow sand, 
becomes during the rains a stream bed : we saw the weeds of the 
last floods adhering to the shrub-stems. It was sprinkled with 

* M. Millivet(Greog. Diet.) has graimnati- many similar names on this part of the 

cized and nonsensed the word to" Santa Se," stream, as Ura^e and Prepece (before 

which has been adopted by Mr. Keith John- noticed). Sento Se, like Sahara, wa.s the 

ston. M. Halfekl, following the pronuncia- name of an Indian Cacique to whom the 

tion, wi-ites it indifferently Santoce, Sentoce, lands belonged, and I have followed tho 

Centoce, in the Map Sento Se. There are spelling adopted by the Sento Se family. 

A A 2 

356 THE HIGHLANDS OF THE BRAZIL. [chap. xxiv. 

the Carnaliuba palm, which seems to delight in these situations of 
extreme wet and excessive aridity. On the left of the path was a 
bit of water which, with its neat border of trees and its central 
islet, looked artificial ; the silent spoon-bill paced away in his 
delicate rosy coat, and the noisy harlequin plover fled screaming 
as we aj^proached. 

The Villa is at the margin of this " dry swamp;" to the south 
and west the horizon is fringed with Carnahubas, showing the 
course of the stream. About half a league behind it are two 
lumpy hills gashed into red and grey quarries, and lined and 
patched with Avhite quartz and sandstone. Here they form cliff's 
and walls, there they are detached buttresses ; the general colour 
is that of the sunburnt flat, and they seem to reek with heat. 
This Serra do Mulungu * is, aj)parently, an offset from the Serra 
do Brejo, which up-stream showed its white cliff-walls, and which 
now bends from south-west to north-west. The material is 
granite piercing through the sandstones and secondary forma- 
tions ; we are fast descending to the rock-floor, the core of the 
land, and we begin to know without being told that we must be 
approaching a succession of Rapids. 

The entrance to the Villa was via the prison, a tiled roof, lath 
and plaster walls (pao a pique), and iron bands nailed to a 
window frame. Opposite it stood the Church of S. Jose, remark- 
able onl}^ for its excellent bricks, and for the " Cantaria" quart- 
zose granite, with spots of black mica in the blue-grey matrix ; t 
with the exception of the wandering block shown to us at the 
Brejo do Solgado, it is the first upon which we have lighted 
since we left the coast ranges. Hence it will extend at intervals 
all down the Sao Francisco. 

By the side of the church, facing north-west, and raised above 
the floods, are half a dozen tiled and white-washed houses ; 
behind is a scatter of palm-thatched huts, and the only neat 
tenement is that of the Vigario. The travelled " Menino " bit- 
terl}^ scoffed at this attempt at a Villa, where we found fresh 
meat and rum, but could not buy even the pepper of the country. 

* Mulungu (probal)]y an African word) has entered, 

is the name of a thorny leguminous ti-ee + M. Half eld (Rel. 124) calls the rock 

with beans of a lively red and black like ** gneiss-granite, " and declares that he 

(but much larger than) those of the Abrus found in it jiyrites which may prove auri- 

precatoi'ius. They are mashed and applied ferous. 
to the wounds of animals when the "bicho" 


Signs of a smithy appeared upon the ground,* but no symptoms 
of an oven ; here they prefer the Pao de Milho, an unleavened 
*' Seven days' bread," of maize-floiu* kneaded T\ith boiling water. 
Other favourite dishes are " faroffa," or "passoca," pounded meat 
mixed with farinha, fuba, or even bananas. 

The life of these country places has a barbarous uniformity. 
The people say of the country " e muito atrasado," and they 
show in their proper persons all the reason of the atraso. It is 
every man's object to do as little as he can, and he limits his 
utmost industry to the labours of the smallest Fazenda. These 
idlers rise late and breakfast early, perhaps with a sweet potato 
and a cup of the inevitable coffee ; sometimes there is a table, 
often a mat is spread upon the floor, but there is alwa3^s a cloth. 
It is then time "ku amkia," as the Sawahilis say, to " drop in " 
upon neighbours, and to slay time with the smallest of small 
talk. The hot hours are spent in the hammock, swinging, 
dozing, smoking, and eating melons. Dinner is at 2 p.m., a 
more substantial matter of fish, or meat, and manioc with vege- 
tables at times, and everywhere, save at Sento Se, with pepper- 
sauce. Coffee and tobacco serve to shorten the long tedious 
hom*s, and the evenmg is devoted to a gentle stroll, or to ''tomar 
a fresca," that is, sitting in a shady spot to windward of the 
house and receiving visits. Supper ushers in the night-fall, and 
on every possible occasion the song and drum, the dance and 
dram are prolonged till near daybreak. Thus they lose energy, 
they lose memory, they cannot persuade themselves to undertake 
anything, and all exertion seems absolutely impossible to them. 
At Sento Se the citizens languidly talk of a canal which is to be 
brought from the Rio de Sao Francisco at an expense of £1680. 
But no one di*eams of doing anything beyond tallying. " Govern- 
ment " must do everything for them, they will do nothing for 
themselves. After a day or two's halt in these hot-beds of indo- 
lence, I begin to feel lilce one of those who are raised there. 

Returning to the Porto we amused ourselves with prospecting 
the people. We heard of two elders who could give information, 
both however were absent, and the nearest approach to manhood 
in the place was a youth in a suit of brown holland and a wide- 
awake of tiger-cat skin. We hunted up, however, an intelligent 

* The iron, we were told, is brought from the neighboxiring Fazenda de Sento Se 
of Joao Nunez, upon the stream of that name. 

358 THE HIGHLANDS OF TlfE BRAZIL. [chap. xxiv. 

old Moradora (habitantess) who did her best to enlighten us. 
The washerwomen, officially called white, worked nude to the 
waist : the subsequent toilette was a shift that exposed at least 
one shoulder, and displayed the outlines more than enough, a 
skirt and a bright cotton shawl often thrown over the head. The 
feet were bare, but the hair, which was admirably thick and 
glossy, was parted in the centre and combed out straight to below 
the ears, where it fell in a dense mass of short stiff ringlets, re- 
minding one of Nubia. Some women and many of the children 
had erect hair, a " Pope's head," a fluffy gloria standing out 
eight incheF, lil^e the "mop" of a Somal, or a Papuan negro. 
One girl had taken for her pet a leaden-coloured, hairless dog,* 
whose naked skin had a curious effect when compared with the 
head of its mistress. The only trace of occupation was the 
twanging of a Jango, or African music-bow, which, in the hands 
of a boy, produced a murmur which was not unpleasant. 

Before night a small fleet of barcas, which had been weather- 
bound, and which the little raft had beaten, came in racing, and 
regulating by horn and song the measured dip of their long 
sweeps. During the floods they can drop down from Remanso 
to Joazeiro in twenty-four hours, now they will have spent nine 
days. This is the last trip of the year, and all are anxious to 
end it. Most of the barcas had women on board in toilettes as 
simple as those ashore. The patrao on the other hand often 
wore old clothes manifestly of French build, a sign that we are 
nearing civilisation. 

October 20. — We set out at 3 a.m., when the barcas were all 
asleep ; the thermometer showed 78° (F.), which encouraged us 
to expect Mormaco, clouded and windless weather. We were not 
disappointed in a good working day. On the right, and lying 
from south-west to north-east, was the Serra da Cumieira,t 
shaped Uke a vast pent-roof ; two days ago we saw distinctly its 
snowy-white cliff walls resembling " Palisades " of dolomite, 
and terminal ramps slightly concave. It is prolonged by the 
Morro do Frade, a similar formation, which takes its name from 
a single pike or organ-pipe standing out from the abrupt preci- 

* Prince Max (i. 219) informs ns that Spanish South America. 
he never saw a specimen of these hideous + From Cume, a top or ridge-beam, thus 

canines, which are now not uncommon at we say the Comb of a hilh The Cumieira 

B'dh'ni. He refers to Humboldt (Ansichten (M. Halfeld, p. 126, Comieira) is opposed 

der Natur, p. 90), who mentions them in to the " Caibros " or rafters, which sup- 


pice. The shapes of the mountains now change to the plateaux 
and quoins, the ledges, bluffs, and uptilted cliffs of a granitic 
country ; these are probably ramifications from the primitive 
ranges nearer the coast. The river is of noble breadth, 4870 
feet, and its right bank about the Sitio da Gequitaia * was plea- 
sant to look upon. Near the water-side, plentiful as Hibiscus 
on the higher stream, rose in bushes of tender, velvet}^ verdure, 
dotted with decayed leaves of dull gold, the large trumpet-shaped 
and mauve-coloured flowers of the Sensitive Canudo, wliich, how- 
ever, with all its beauty serves only to poison cattle. On more 
elevated ground, and sprinkled with the Carnahuba, were fields of 
the dwarf Maniba-manioc and ha}", where ate their fill unusually 
fine horses and asses. The fences of the wax-palm frond effec- 
tually keep out the destructive water-hog (Capivara) and extend 
to the stream-brink, with passages here and there left open to 
the water. The countrvman is evidently more industrious than 
the townsman, and I was surprised to see so many evidences of 
civilisation, where all is supposed by Pdo de Janeiro to be a 
barren barbarism. 

Since morning dawned we observed outcrops of rock in mid- 
stream, and on both sides ; they are probably limestone, which 
M. Halfeld calls '' Pedras Vivas." Near Encaibro is a deposit of 
calcareous matter to a certain extent quarried. Fiu^ther down, 
where we landed for breakfast, the bank was red with iron and 
mottled with pj-rites ; along the brink lay bits of calcareous tuff, 
water-washed into curious shapes, tliigh-bones, knuckles, cii'cles, 
bulges, and spinal processes. Nearly opposite us was the Riacho 
da Canoa, said to flow near a rich Salina ; hence probably the 
neighboiu'ing chapel, neatly tiled and white-washed like a bride- 
cake, towards which parties of people in Sunday garb were pad- 
dling their canoes. 

The sun, nearly overhead, waxed hot, and it stung. Yet under 
the flimsy awning the heat tempered by the breeze never ex- 
ceeded 87° (F.), and on shore 90° (F.). At 2 p.m. we saw on 
the left bank the Casa Nova, a large white and tiled house near 
the left jaw of its " riacho." t It was fronted by a long sandbar, 

port the "ripas" or thin longitudinal Pemambiico, running about twenty leagues 

strips under the tiles. from the great river, nearly due west to 

* M. Halfeld writes Giquitaia, and trans- the long dividing range between the Valleys 

latesit (Rel. 126) "pimentasoccadacomSal." of the Sao Francisco and the Paranahyba. 

+ Above Casa Nova IMr. Keith John- As will be seen, the frontier is in the 

ston places the " E, Casa Nova," which he 2ilst, not the 234th league. M. Halfeld 

makes the frontier line between Bahia and has laid it do"WTi con-ectly. 


which the waters had partially covered, and a dwarf vegetation 
grew ap]5arentl3' from the depths. Below it the bank was green 
with the sweet Capim Cabelludo : * the Capim d'Agua ; the 
Taquaril, a thin bamboo used for small pipings and fireworks, 
and the Zozo, or Soso, a kind of Pistia, like the P. stratiotes 
of the Central African lakes. The pebble -banks and the sand- 
bars are grown with the Angari, also called Jaramataia or Ja- 
rmnataia, which springs up even when nearly covered with water ; 
this stiff and woody shrub, resembling a strong osier, will extend 
as far as the Great Rapids. The wild Guava (Araga) is familiar 
to us since the mid-course of the Rio das Velhas. About